|FRIDAY 31 MAY 2019||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: Eleven new charges have been added to R Kelly's sexual assault case. All appear to relate to one of the existing alleged victims, but some come with stronger possible sentences than those he was previously facing... [READ MORE]|
New charges added to R Kelly's sexual abuse case
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the new charges are four counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, two counts of criminal sexual assault by force, two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, and three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse against a victim between the ages of thirteen and sixteen.
Court documents list the alleged victim as JP, which are initials already used in relation to previous charges. Prosecutors have previously said that JP is a woman who Kelly met when she asked him for an autograph during his previous trial on child sexual abuse charges. She is said to have been sixteen at the time.
Kelly was charged back in February with ten counts of aggravated assault against four women in relation to incidents that occurred over a period of more than a decade.
The new criminal charges followed the airing of the 'Surviving R Kelly' documentary, that put the numerous allegations of assault made against the musician back in the spotlight. Those allegations had only previously resulted in one criminal action, leading to the trial where Kelly met JP, and at which he was found not guilty.
The star continues to deny all the allegations made against him but, if convicted of the February charges, he faces a sentence of up to 70 years in prison. Four of the new charges carry heavier sentences of up to 30 years each.
On Twitter, Kelly's attorney Steve Greenberg was keen to stress that the latest charges relate to an existing rather than new criminal case. He wrote: "R Kelly was NOT charged with a new case. He was recharged in an existing case, same alleged victim and time (a decade ago) It changes nothing".
"These are the same conduct, just charged differently, same alleged victim, same time frame, same facts", he added. "We expect the same results".
Iron Maiden sue makers of video game Ion Maiden
The lawsuit, filed with a Californian court earlier this week, stresses that the band haven't just taken umbrage over the similar name, though that is part of it.
Other elements of the game also seem to deliberately suggest links to the band, the legal claim argues. That includes the use of a "steel-cut" font, like what Iron Maiden use; a skull icon similar to the band's Eddie mascot; and the fact the main character in the game is called Shelly Harrison, which is surely a reference to the band's bassist, primary songwriter and founder member Steve Harris, reckons the lawsuit.
And let us not forget - because certainly the legal filing won't let us - Iron Maiden have been involved in the gaming business since 1999 when they released a greatest hits album and accompanying video game called 'Ed Hunter'. Others Iron Maiden games have followed, most recently the 2016 app game 'Legacy Of The Beast'.
With all that in mind, the band reckon, 3D Realms' infringement of their trademarks "is incredibly blatant. [The gaming company] is undoubtedly aware of Iron Maiden's existence and is attempting to trade off on Iron Maiden's notoriety".
To back that up, the lawsuit adds that plenty of fans have assumed 'Ion Maiden' is formally linked the band, with online chatter cited in which fans discussed how 3D Realms had managed to get a licence to make a game exploiting Iron Maiden's intellectual property.
The gaming company is having none of it though. In a statement on Twitter it writes: "From what we've heard, the suit claims our main character Shelly Harrison, originally debuting in 2016's 'Bombshell', is based on their musician Steve Harris; our skull bomb icon found in-game is based on their skeleton mascot Eddie; our logo in itself is based on theirs; and other frivolous claims anyone who has played 'Ion Maiden' would find more over the top than Shelly's 'Loverboy', her signature eighteen round triple-barrelled revolver".
It goes on: "We at 3D Realms, our co-publishers 1C Entertainment, and developer Voidpoint, will review our options once we receive official notice of the lawsuit and will make any necessary decisions at the appropriate time".
The band are seeking $2 million in damages.
PRS upgrades its major touring service, possibly to counter direct licensing movement
MLCS is a scheme that began way back in the 1990s with U2, and which provides bigger name artists who are touring arenas and stadiums with a more hands-on service when it comes to processing the song royalties that are due on those shows. That service is most valuable when PRS member artists are touring internationally.
By convention, when a British act tours beyond the UK, the local collecting society in each country they visit will collect any song royalties due and then pass those monies back to PRS so that they can be paid to the artist (assuming they wrote the songs they are performing). However, delays, deductions and data issues can all occur once royalties pass through multiple societies. MLCS was in part set up to try and reduce the impact of those issues for major tours. The local societies still do the licensing, but PRS works to reduce delays and such like.
In recent years some high level acts - especially those who predominantly write all of the music they perform - have actually pulled out of the collective licensing system on the live side while they are on tour. They then appoint an agent which negotiates a song rights licence directly with each show's promoter, meaning the artist can often get paid quicker, and with less processing fees being charged.
The direct licensing approach can become complicated, though, where you have co-writers who are not part of the tour. Plus there is the question of how you licence songs being performed by support acts, given song royalty payments usually take the form of a percentage of total ticket income. Those who prefer the direct licensing approach argue that these complications are mainly the result of collecting societies, which are keen to discourage direct deals, refusing to introduce any flexibility into their own licensing systems.
However, some would argue that, with MLCS, PRS offers artists of a certain level the best of both worlds, ie a more hands-on service that reduces delays and deductions but which also allows co-writers and support acts to be paid through the collective licensing system. And with the changes PRS has announced this week, the society is likely hoping to convince more artists of the benefits of staying within the collective for major touring activity, despite the issues with licensing via third party societies.
Among the changes are new digital tools, streamlined processes, fixed payment terms and a reduction of admin fees. PRS also says it is working hard to get rid of 'promoter kickbacks' in other countries, one of the key issues that persuaded some artists to go the direct licensing route. This is where, in some countries, some societies give some promoters discounts on royalty rates in some scenarios. But these discounts are often not properly communicated to the artist, who is really paying for the kickback.
A PRS spokesperson told CMU that the UK society has been "actively seeking to eliminate this practice for a number of years. We have been working directly with a number of our affiliates to eliminate the discount mechanisms from the local tariffs".
It's also hoped that, with some of the new digital tools made available under the revamped MLCS scheme, it will be easier for artists and their teams to work out what they are due in each country, and therefore better monitor payments coming in. The PRS spokesperson added: "We have launched our Live Concert Calculator, that calculates the applicable tariff rate in each territory, so that tour managers can ensure that the correct tariff is applied to performer's settlement".
"We also work with the local society and the performer's representatives to ensure that the correct box office receipts have been declared to our affiliates and that the tariff rate is correct", the spokesperson added. "We're confident our service offers one of the most transparent solutions in the world, allowing faster and greater royalty payment to our members".
Another digital tool PRS hopes to offer is called Concertify, a technology made by Finnish company Mind Your Rights, which the society plans to pilot. This, PRS said in a statement this week, "provides a platform for all parties within the value chain to access real-time visibility of the datasets necessary for processing royalty flows, such as setlists, venue information, payment statuses and box office receipt".
Commenting on the MLCS upgrade, PRS's Director Of International Sami Valkonen added: "We acknowledge representing the world's top talent comes with expectations, and we need to be in a position to offer a service that meets those requirements to be given the privilege of continuing to collect their concert royalties. We've taken on board feedback from several of our key member representatives and are committed to making MLCS a proposition that further solidifies PRS as the go-to provider of major concert tour copyright management".
Bauer follows Global in cutting back local shows on local radio
Unlike Global - which long ago abandoned regional radio station brands, making all their local stations part of the national Capital, Heart and Gold networks - Bauer does still operate different brands in different markets. However, those local stations nevertheless share an awful lot of national networked programming.
And the amount of national networked programming will increase this summer. According to Radio Today, twelve local stations in what Bauer calls its Hits Radio Network will cease to have local programming over the weekends as of July. It will mean that all the English stations in that network - with the exception of Radio City in Liverpool - will broadcast the same show between midday and 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays instead of the current local show in that slot. A different show will air on the Scottish stations.
Meanwhile, the Free Radio stations in the Midlands - acquired by Bauer back in 2016 - will see the amount of local programming reduced in the week too. There are currently four outposts of Free Radio, each of which carries its own breakfast and drivetime show. But from July there will be two breakfast shows (the Warwickshire one will also go out in Herefordshire, and the Birmingham edition in the Black Country), meanwhile one drive time programme will air on all four Free Radio channels.
The ultimate aim of this further networking of shows, of course, is to save money, with fewer presenters and producers required. Radio firms argue that further downsizing is needed as they face increased competition from other online and digital media and music services, for both audiences and advertisers.
Radio Today quotes Bauer's Gary Stein as delivering the official line on the Free Radio cutbacks. He said: "We are driven by the needs of our listeners and advertisers, and these changes have come about in order to meet the renewed requirements of audiences in the West Midlands".
He went on: "Habits and lifestyles are shifting, and in this territory, we saw a desire for a more regionalised broadcast offering, as well as appointment to listen programming on the weekends - all delivering the local news, traffic and travel, and information that our listeners seek. We thank our broadcast teams who have made tremendous contributions, and wish them the very best as they pursue new opportunities".
Katy Perry's new single is Never Really Over
Zedd wasn't the only collaborator on that last single, though. As is increasingly the norm, a plethora of people were involved in writing and producing the track - in all, seven writers and three producers. This being a 'solo' release though, things are a bit different. There are nine writers this time around.
The production credit on 'Never Really Ends', is shared between Zedd and Dreamlab, while he and Perry split the writing credits with Dan Haywood, Leah Haywood, Dagny, Gino Barletta, Michelle Buzz, Jason Gill and Hayley Warner. How is there even time for all their contributions to appear in the track's four minute run time?
Explaining what the song is about, which she apparently knows, Perry says: "All of our relationships - from first love, through failed love, to great love - all become a part of you, so that none are ever really over, and once you accept both the dark and the light, you may find that the darkness brought you to the light".
That statement reads like nine people wrote it too. Anyway, here's the video for the track, which was directed by just one person - Philippa Price. How novel.
Jamie Cullum announces 2020 tour
"It's going to be so fun playing this new music out on tour with my incredible band", says Cullum. "We're going to draw on these new songs and re-invent plenty of old ones too. The 'Taller' 2020 tour is going to be a memorable one!"
If you pre-order the album right now, you'll get access to a pre-sale tickets for the tour. So that's nice. The deadline is 4 Jun, so hurry. Or don't. It makes no difference to me.
Talking about the new album, Cullum says: "This album is really a love letter to my wife. It's an album of my songs that takes stock of where I am right now. They were my working notes for life. My 'Fortysomething' if you will. I wanted to put aside whether it was a jazz record, whether it was ticking this or that box. The songs would be king and they would be honest. I feel more proud of this than anything I've done''.
Anyway, here are all the dates:
9 Mar: Dublin, Bord Gais Energy Theatre
Warner Chappell has acquired the Gene Autry Music Group, which across four companies represents the publishing interests of "America's favourite singing cowboy". The music publisher will also administer the Autry estate's master recordings, to provide one-stop sync licensing on his music.
Sugar Ray have signed to BMG to release their first album for a decade. "This is truly a modern-day musical partnership", says frontman Mark McGrath, shrewdly recognising that the deal is happening in the present.
Cardi B has released new track 'Press'. She's not that keen on the media, you know.
Miley Cyrus has released new EP, 'She Is Coming', featuring collaborations with Ghostface Killah and RuPaul. Listen now via your digital music platform of choice.
Gucci Mane has released a new collaboration with that Justin Bieber, 'Love Thru The Computer'. All together now, "Ooh, you can meet me, you can meet me on my laptop, yeah".
Mark Ronson has released new Camila Cabello fronted single 'Find U Again'. The track was produced by Ronson with Kevin Parker of Tame Impala.
Diplo, Charli XCX and Herve Pagez have released new collaboration 'Spicy' - a "reimagining" of the Spice Girls' 'Wannabe'.
Skepta has released the video for current single 'Greaze Mode'. His new album, 'Ignorance Is Bliss', is out today.
Bastille have released the video for their latest single 'Joy'. "This video looks at the things that bring us joy, when we think no one's looking", says the band's Dan Smith. "It's fascinating that most people have a version of themselves they want to show in public - at work or online - and a version they don't. We wanted to show it all".
Bruce Springsteen has released new single, 'Tuscon Train', from his upcoming new album 'Western Stars'.
Burial has released his first solo track since 2017, 'Claustro', which will appear on a new EP, out on 14 Jun.
!!! are back with new double A-side single, 'UR Paranoid/Off The Grid'. "Who doesn't feel paranoid or want to get off the grid right now?" ask the band. "There's more good times and heartbreak to come, we promise. But we wanted to start you off with a couple of peak timers that were written on dark and stormy nights".
Darkthrone have released new single 'Duke Of Gloat'. Their new album, 'Old Star', is out today.
Beak> have released new track, 'We Can Go', taken from upcoming EP 'Life Goes On'. The song is "the most normal song we have ever written", say the band. "We like it", they add.
GIGS & TOURS
...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead have announced autumn UK shows, kicking off at The Waterfront in Norwich on 29 Sep and taking in Oslo in London on 1 Oct, among other dates.
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Tomatoes or singing, Ariana Grande forced to choose
No, wait, let's talk about this. It might be important. At the very least, it will raise awareness of this very serious issue. Earlier this week, Grande cancelled two US concerts. An initial statement from Live Nation blamed ill health. But Grande herself later revealed that she had been unable to perform more specifically because she had suddenly become allergic to tomatoes.
Updating fans on Instagram, she wrote: "We discovered that I had an unfortunate allergic reaction to tomatoes and my throat pretty much closed. Still feels like I'm swallowing a cactus but slowly making progress!"
She added that "there is nothing more unfair than an Italian woman developing an allergy to tomatoes in her mid 20s".
I think we could probably dispute that claim. Though, I have to say, right now I can't actually think of anything more unfair. But only because my mind is entirely occupied by the knowledge that someone had to cancel two concerts because they ate a tomato. I know how she feels. I'm allergic to dust. And it's really annoying not being able to eat large handfuls of it anymore. I've never had to cancel work because of my dust allergy though.
Anyway, now that Grande has made the necessary changes to her diet - luckily, tomatoes are only used in basically all meals - she has rescheduled the missed shows for November.