|TUESDAY 9 JULY 2019||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: The entertainment business set up by one-time hip hop mogul Russell Simmons in 2013, All Def Digital, has denied reports that it is closing down. Although its CEO has admitted that a "major restructuring" is underway ahead of a "strategic deal"... [READ MORE]|
Russell Simmons-founded All Def Digital denies closure rumours
Originally set up as a YouTube-centric management and label-style business, All Def Digital has expanded its activities over the years, with content production, live event and brand partnership divisions. At launch, Simmons' personal reputation in the music industry and large network of contacts played a key role in growing the business.
However, Simmons ended his active involvement in the venture in late 2017 after various women went public with allegations of sexual assault against him. He continues to deny all of those allegations, one of which is still subject to litigation.
Last week the website Tubefilter reported that All Def Digital was basically shutting down. Citing various anonymous sources, it said that following broad layoffs at the company, an advisory firm was now in the building "divvy[ing] up assets" of the business.
But All Def Digital's CEO Chris Blackwell has now denied those reports saying, in a short statement, that "we are reorganising the company in advance of a strategic deal". It remains unclear what that means exactly, though presumably more information will follow at some point soon.
According to Variety, not only did Simmons stop actively working with All Def Digital in 2017, but he hasn't had an ownership interest in the business since 2018 either.
Fat Joe sues insurer for failing to pay for his defence in copyright dispute
Cartagena was sued by another rapper - Fly Havana, real name Eric Elliott - back in March this year. Elliott claims that Cartagena's 'All The Way Up' is simply an evolution of a track of the same name that he had produced a year earlier. Elliott says he collaborated with Infrared on his original recording, who then also guested on the version Cartagena released.
For his part, Cartagena hasn't denied Elliot's involvement in creating his track. He previously referenced Elliot's contribution in an interview and, legal papers say, after its release he paid the other rapper a $5000 fee while also promising additional future royalties. But, Elliot says, those royalties never materialised, and now he wants the courts to confirm he was a co-creator on the record, and is therefore due a co-write credit and formal royalty share.
It was when Elliott went legal in March that Cartagena turned to the Homeland Insurance Company, hoping to rely on a relatively new insurance policy that covered any liabilities related to his professional music career. The insurers, he assumed, would foot the legal bill for fighting Elliott's lawsuit.
But no. Instead, the insurance company seemingly accused the rapper of having withheld important information when purchasing his insurance policy - which came into effect in January - about an ongoing situation that would likely result in a claim. It then also added that a copyright action of this kind wasn't covered by the insurance policy anyway.
But these reasons for not covering Cartagena's legal costs are "all patently false", the rapper said in a lawsuit filed against the insurance firm this week. According to Law 360, his legal papers add that: "Homeland has wrongfully denied coverage for this clearly-covered claim ... the conduct by Homeland is despicable and outrageous".
Dealing with the insurance firm's specific claims, Cartagena says that he could not have foreseen Elliot's litigation, having assumed that, by taking the $5000 fee, his fellow rapper would not be making any future claims over 'All The Way Up'. And, he adds, copyright infringement actions are covered by the insurance policy he bought.
Homeland is yet to respond to Cartagena's lawsuit. It's also not clear whether the rapper expects the insurer to cover his costs in pursuing legal action over the insurer's refusal to cover his costs in pursuing legal action. Maybe there's a totally different insurance firm he could sue over that.
UK Music calls out Google following CMA's latest Viagogo announcement
The CMA confirmed last week that it would begin contempt proceedings against Viagogo because the ticket resale site still hasn't complied with a court order that the regulator secured last year. That injunction ordered Viagogo to meet various CMA demands designed to ensure the company was complying with British consumer rights law.
In addition to campaigning for new regulation of the secondary ticketing market - and the better enforcement of existing rules - those who oppose ticket touting have also, at various points, called on Google to take action.
A key marketing tactic of the secondary ticketing sites is to buy the ad spots that appear at the top of the list when people search for things like "Ariana Grande tickets". Although those paid-for listings are accompanied by a small "ad" icon, many people are not aware of the commercial side to Google search and therefore assume that whoever comes top in a search result list must be the official seller of tickets to a show.
Coupled with the deliberately misleading language traditionally used by some resale sites, and especially Viagogo, consumers have often bought touted tickets at hiked-up prices while assuming they were in fact transacting with a primary ticket seller.
Google did introduce its own rules for secondary sites that advertise on its search engine at the start of last year which aimed to provide some clarity for ticket buyers. But some feel that the web giant hasn't gone far enough to enforce either its own rules or consumer rights law in general, both in the UK and elsewhere.
Meanwhile, in the UK specifically, critics also argue that, once Viagogo was on the receiving end of an injunction for failing to comply with British law - and especially now it is facing proceedings for allegedly ignoring elements of that injunction - Google should have stopped taking the controversial company's advertising pound.
Responding to last week's CMA announcement, UK Music boss Michael Dugher said: "News that the CMA is proceeding with legal action against Viagogo is welcome and a timely reminder that music fans should avoid getting tickets from this website which continues to rip off music fans. Equally, it's high time Google stopped putting Viagogo at the top of their search engine when customers are looking for tickets, when they could instead be directed towards legitimate, lower [priced] primary ticket sales".
On the CMA's legal case against Viagogo in general, Dugher added - while namechecking anti-touting campaign FanFair and those in Parliament who have called for a crackdown on the online touts - "UK Music, the FanFair Alliance and cross-party MPs have long campaigned for action against exploitative secondary ticketing providers. We urge the courts to join us and say no to Viagogo".
Line Music expands into Taiwan
Line Music launched in Thailand and Japan in 2015. It was an early entrant into the Japanese streaming market, where the shift to digital has happened much slower, of course.
Line's musical dabblings were particularly supported by Sony's Japanese music business and the country's 'fourth major' Avex, which were initially keen that Japan's record industry have more control over any emerging streaming market there, rather than just having the global players roll in and take over.
The launch in Taiwan comes as the wider Line business seeks to boost its user-base in the country. In contrast to its Japanese launch, Line Music is rather late to the party in Taiwan, where Spotify and Apple Music already compete with home-grown KKBox.
According to Taiwan News, the company has recruited pop star Coco Lee to be its brand ambassador as it launches in the country, and will also sponsor her upcoming tour dates, including a show in the Taiwanese capital Taipei.
Mystery Jets pay tribute to the NHS with new single, Hospital Radio
Frontman Blane Harrison - who has spent a significant amount of time in hospital due to spina bifida - says of the song: "I was born in the NHS and it has saved my life several times over. I spent so much time on wards growing up that they became a second home to me and inspired the first song I wrote".
"Over the years, I have come to see NHS nurses and doctors as our guardian angels [who were] beautifully portrayed at the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony", he continues. "But austerity measures over recent years have meant that the spectre of privatisation has become a very real and threatening prospect".
"Whilst in hospital last month for on-going leg surgery, I lay in bed watching President Trump's televised address to the British media, in which he boasted that NHS contracts would be part of future trade deals", he goes on. "It gave me the chills, as it must have done to many others. I felt especially fearful of what the future might hold for the elderly people in the beds around me, many of whom are already in danger of falling through the cracks of the social care system".
Finally, he says: "Sometimes music can reach places deep within us that can't be reached by words alone. On this, the 71st anniversary of the creation of the National Health Service, it feels right to release this song to express our gratitude".
The band will be playing a number of festival shows over the summer, where presumably the new song will also get an airing. Listen to 'Hospital Radio' here.
Lacuna Coil announce new album Black Anima
"Black Anima is all of us", says Lacuna Coil frontwoman Cristina Scabbia. "It's you and it's me. It's everything we hide and fiercely expose to a world that's halfway asleep. It is the fogged mirror we are peering into searching for the truth. It's sacrifice and pain, it's justice and fear, it's fury and revenge, it's past and future".
"[It's] human beings in the magnificence of a disturbing ambiguity", she goes on. "The black core that balances it all... as without darkness light would never exist. We proudly present to you our new work and can't wait to welcome you in our embrace. We are the Anima".
The album is set for release on 11 Oct. The band will also be touring the UK and Ireland in November. Here are the dates:
12 Nov: Manchester, Ritz
Ed Sheeran has released the video for his absolutely awful new collaboration with Bruno Mars and Chris Stapleton, 'Blow'.
Beck has released a new acapella version of his latest single 'Saw Lightning', stripping all the Pharrell out of it. At least on the production side. Beck's new album, 'Hyperspace', is due out later this year.
Blood Orange has announced that he will release a new mixtape, titled 'Angel's Pulse', on Friday. "I have a habit through the years of making records that I just give to friends, or on tape to people on the street, or no one", he says. "Usually this material is made directly after the album I've just put out. Somewhat of an epilogue to the thing I've made before. This time, I decided to release it".
The Shins' Yuuki Matthews has put out a previously unreleased album made with late singer-songwriter Richard Swift under the name Teardrops. "Sometime in April of 2013 ... Richard Swift and I decided we'd start a music project together and call it Teardrops after the song 'Secret Teardrops' by Martin Rev, who we were both huge fans of", says Matthews. "I'm happy to finally release this to the world knowing Swift was happy with these mixes as they are".
Bad Gyal has released new single 'Santa Maria', featuring Busy Signal.
Haiku Salut have released the video for new single 'Firewood'. The track is taken from their new soundtrack to 1926 Buster Keaton movie 'The General', which is out on 2 Aug.
Whipped Cream has released a new collaboration with Lick called 'The Greatest'.
GIGS & TOURS
BBC Radio 1 is hosting 'The Lewis Capaldi Symphony' on 5 Aug, which will see Capaldi perform alongside the Manchester Camerata Orchestra. He hasn't actually written a symphony, he'll just be performing songs from his album 'Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent'. Still, he says he's "buzzing". The show will take place at Croxteth Hall in Liverpool, ticket info here.
Ghost have announced that they will tour the UK in November this year, including a show at Wembley Arena on 22 Nov. Tickets on general sale on Friday.
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Mac DeMarco hopes to get "get a new homie" after Mitski album title fall out
You may remember that, earlier this year, DeMarco announced his new album 'Here Comes The Cowboy', releasing the first single 'Nobody'. Mitski fans noted that she released an album called 'Be The Cowboy', the first single from which was called 'Nobody'.
Mitski fans online quickly whipped themselves into a frenzy over this, deciding that DeMarco should probably be murdered with sticks for his outrageous same name offence. Although Mitski herself said that it was a "non-issue" that she found funny.
Speaking on Beats 1 yesterday, DeMarco said he had found the whole thing quite "confusing", but in the end, he put it down to the general awfulness of everything, noting: "Look at the world we're living today. You know, people just want to have a go, and they did, and that's fine. If I made somebody satisfied or got their anger quota on or something, that's fine".
"It was just flabbergasting that people were like, 'Mac's trolling us'", he added. "It's like, 'No - why would I do that? Come on'".
Anyway, the whole situation has brought DeMarco and Mitski into contact, with a new friendship blooming out of the gloom. "She was sweet about it, and I'm thankful for that", he said. "I talked to her a little bit, and she seems really cool. I think we're playing some festivals together in the next couple of months, so hopefully I get a new homie out of the experience".
Let's hope so, otherwise what is even the point?