|FRIDAY 20 SEPTEMBER 2019||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: I don't think there was ever any doubt about Dave winning this year's Mercury Prize. And now he has, so you can happily go about your day knowing that for a brief moment last night this topsy turvy world was in balance. Unless you put money on The 1975, like an idiot... [READ MORE]|
Dave wins 2019 Mercury Prize
So, yeah, last night the music industry convened on the Hammersmith Apollo for a nice meal and a few performances - including Slowthai making his opinion of 'Boris' Johnson very clear. Then, at the end, Dave was handed a cheque for £25,000 in recognition of the fact that his 'Psychodrama' album was the best British or Irish album of the last year.
Released in March, 'Psychodrama' is a concept album, built around a therapy session and exploring various aspects of the rapper's own upbringing, covering topics including mental health, absent fathers, racial inequality and domestic abuse. He has said that much of the inspiration for the record came from his older brother Christopher, who is serving a life sentence in prison.
Accepting the prize with his mother standing on stage beside him, Dave said: "I wanna thank everyone that made this happen. I wanna thank all of the exceptional musicians that came and performed tonight. I did not expect this. You guys, I respect you all so highly. Simz, Thai, Nao, I love you guys. I'm so, so happy to be in your company, all the exceptional musicians that are here today".
"I wanna thank God, my mum, my family, my friends and everyone that's here", he added. "But, most importantly, I know I tell this story all the time, but I wanna thank my brother Christopher who inspired this album - this is your story that we told, and even though you can't be here with us today, I know you're watching us, bro. I'm so grateful".
Explaining their decision, the Mercury Prize judging panel said: "'Psychodrama' is the musical equivalent of a literary masterpiece: a conceptual album about Dave's experience of growing up in South London, structured in the form of a therapy session, which takes a deeply personal story and gives it universal relevance".
"'Psychodrama' is a moving, musically sophisticated work that tackles complex themes of identity, class, relationships and politics and demands total attention from the listener", they went on. "It will have lasting relevance for a generation and underlines the importance of the album as an art form, making it the perfect winner of the 2019 Hyundai Mercury Prize".
Keeping up the praise, the UK MD of Dave's publisher Warner Chappell, Mike Smith, said in a memo to staff: "Dave is one of the most important songwriters in the UK today and it's an honour to represent his music. At a time when so many artists are better known for the one off tracks they release, Dave has pushed the boundaries with 'Psychodrama' showing what the album format is capable of in 2019".
"His poetry has never shied away from the biggest issues of our times and he continues to be the most ambitious songwriter out there", Smith added. "I know that we can expect more exceptional music from Dave in the near future, but for now join me in congratulating him on this fantastic win".
Watch Dave perform 'Psychodrama' opening track 'Psycho' at last night's ceremony here.
US judge unlikely to stop arbitration in Jackson estate v HBO case on free speech grounds
The estate sued HBO back in February over the media firm's airing of the documentary 'Leaving Neverland', which put the spotlight back on allegations of child abuse made against the late king of pop by Wade Robson and James Safechuck.
The lawsuit centres on a 1992 contract between Jackson and HBO signed when the latter broadcast footage of the former's live shows. The contract included a clause in which HBO promised to never "disparage" the musician.
As the dispute has progressed, the estate filed a motion seeking to force the matter to arbitration, rather than a proper court hearing. HBO then filed a counter motion seeking to stop that from happening on free speech grounds.
According to Law360, a legal rep for HBO argued that, had the estate really wanted arbitration in its contract dispute with the broadcaster, it should have gone that route from the off, rather than filing a lawsuit. The litigation, the lawyer argued, "was filed to chill free speech and to tell the world, 'don't talk about child sex abuse'".
But judge George H Wu, who is overseeing the case, said this week that he couldn't find any previous relevant precedent to support the idea that HBO could avoid arbitration on free speech grounds via what is known in US legal circles as an anti-SLAPP motion. He also added that the fact the estate did not initially go the arbitration route didn't mean they were waiving the right to subsequently pursue that option.
Meanwhile, one of the executors of the estate, John Branca, insisted that its action to date is about "trying to get all the facts out there - HBO doesn't want that to happen".
Wu said yesterday that he would issue a final judgement on all this by the end of the month, but it is looking likely he'll side with the estate at this stage.
Jacquees sued for $190,000 over missing Instagram posts
The concert's promoter Ill Intent Entertainment has gone legal over the artist's failure to promote a planned February show on Instagram. His agents at ICM Partners are also listed as defendants on the lawsuit, which was actually originally filed in May, but was bounced to a federal court this week.
The legal papers outline various broken promises made by ICM Partners, which kept insisting that its client was about to post a video message about the Sayreville show on his Instagram profile. The post was meant to be have been made by late December last year, but no promo occurred until late January, after much more pushing on Ill Intent's part.
That was too late, not least because by that time the artist had also booked in a separate show for March in nearby Philadelphia. As a result the Sayreville gig had to be postponed until May. And then Jacquees again failed to deliver promised social media promo on schedule for the alternative date.
The promoter is seeking damages to cover $190,000 in expenses and lost revenues it claims it suffered because of the missing Instagram vids. Jacquees and ICM are yet to comment.
EMMA launches mentoring scheme for music managers across Europe
Supported by the European Union's Music Moves Europe initiative, the new European Music Managers Mentorship Activation (EMMMA, see) programme will match early-career managers with more experienced mentors. Participants will then connect via Skype calls, at EMMMA sessions organised at various music conferences, and via workshops focused on different aspects of the music business.
"This much-needed programme", he added, "will enable managers to share expertise and build their artists' careers across borders. We hope it will grow over time and help build a strong network of managers across the EU. This is a big win for the future of European music".
Meanwhile EMMA Vice Chair Virpi Immonen, who also heads up MMF Finland, which will coordinate the new scheme, added: "MMF Finland is proud to be the project coordinator of this groundbreaking pan-European mentoring programme".
She added: "Management can be a tough and stressful gig, in what is often a solitary career, and so our aim with EMMMA, and with support from the European Commission, is to start pooling and sharing the vast knowledge base that exists across the continent, and to help upcoming managers to successfully grow their business. In turn, that will offer even greater opportunities to support the careers of our artists, our songwriters and our composers".
EMMA was established last year connecting trade bodies representing artist managers in various European countries.
Savages' Jehnny Beth to front new TV chat show
"For years, I've been driven by a real desire to bring musicians together and to allow people from our community as a whole to interact", says Beth. "Sharing our mistakes, our funny stories, our pleasures, our regrets is a natural reflex during conversations between artists. I want to bring to the audience the kind of intimate, unfiltered and inspiring discussions that I have witnessed so many times".
The first episode of 'Echoes' will feature Primal Scream, Idles and Life. It will be filmed by pan-European TV station Arte in Paris at Yoyo on 25 Sep. Apply to be in the audience here. Or hang on until later this year, when the show is broadcast. Among other places, you'll be able to watch it on the Arte website.
Tove Lo announces 2020 UK tour
"I'm so ready to play these new songs for you along with your 'Queen Of The Clouds', 'Lady Wood' and 'Blue Lips' favourites", she says. "It's gonna be sweaty, trippy and emotional guys, so prepare yourselves".
Ready she may be, but the shows are not going to happen until March next year, so she'll have to wait. You can swing into action sooner though, because tickets are on sale now. And while you're buying those, you could soundtrack the transaction with 'Sunshine Kitty', which is also out today.
Anyway, here are the dates:
9 Mar: Glasgow, Galvanizers
Talent management outfit YMU Group has appointed Mary Bekhait as its first UK CEO. Promoted from Managing Director of YMU's entertainment division, she will now oversee all five of the company's units in the UK. "Mary's ability to align business with emotional intelligence is an inspiring and energising combination", says overall CEO Neil Rodford.
Carly Rae Jepsen has released the video for 'Want You In My Room', from her 'Dedicated' album.
CupcakKe has released new single 'Grilling Niggas'.
Soccer Mommy has released new single 'Lucy'. "It's a song about struggling with inner demons and your own morality, but I masked it with this scenario of being seduced by the devil", she says. "I'm really excited to share this with everyone because I think it shows a different side of my writing".
Will Joseph Cook has released new single 'The Dragon'. "The song is about striving to stay positive and loving", he says. "Whilst living in the shadow of several huge global problems like the climate and political unrest. Turning on each other distracts us from finding the real solutions".
Seraphina Steer has released the title track to her new album 'The Mind Is A Trap', which is out on 27 Sep. She will play a launch show at Folklore in London on 2 Oct.
GIGS & TOURS
Pitchfork has announced a new edition of its music festival in Berlin in partnership with German promoter MCT Agentur. The event will take place at Tempodrom from 8-9 May 2020.
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Paul McCartney says Brexit "probably a mistake"
Speaking to BBC News, the former Beatle said that the political chaos we now find ourselves in has "been thrust upon us through the referendum, which was probably a mistake ... and now I don't think anyone knows quite what to do with it".
He's still positive about the future though, adding: "I think we'll come through it, I think we always do. I mean, I am old enough to remember garbage in the streets and people not being able to get buried because the grave diggers where on strike. That was a pretty rough time, but we came through it. So I think we'll come through this, but I think it's a mess and I'll be glad when it's over".
As for how he himself voted in the referendum - I know you're wondering - wondering wondering wondering - well wonder no more - he says he didn't vote at all, as no one on either side "inspired" him.
Although he does add that he was somewhat wary of some of the arguments on the leave side. "What kind of put me off was, I was meeting a lot of older people, pretty much my generation, [saying], 'Alright Paul, it's gonna be like it was in the old days, we're gonna go back', and it was like, 'Yeah? Oh, I'm not sure about that'. And that attitude was very prevalent, 'It's all gonna be changed. We're all gonna go back to how we were'".
Bearing in mind what he just said about rubbish and graves in the past, it's not clear why anyone wanted to return to those days anyway. Although, I should just clarify that those two things are separate. By which, I mean, the rubbish collectors also went on strike during the so called 'winter of discontent' in 1979. People weren't leaving their dead relatives out with the bins. Still, that's all something to look forward to.