|FRIDAY 17 SEPTEMBER 2021||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: A concert promoter previously known as LHG Live discriminated against three deaf mothers who accompanied their children to a Little Mix concert in 2017 by failing to provide a British Sign Language interpreter for the whole show... [READ MORE]|
Little Mix promoter liable for discrimination over failure to provide BSL interpreter for full show
That's the conclusion of judge Ian Avent having considered a lawsuit filed in 2018 that was seen as an interesting test case regarding the obligations of concert promoters in relation to the UK's 2010 Equality Act.
The lawsuit was led by Sally Reynolds, who attended a Little Mix show in Sussex with her child, and who is deaf. Ahead of the concert she requested that the promoter provide a British Sign Language interpreter. She was attending with two friends who are also deaf and who were likewise accompanying their children to the show. Reynolds said that the BSL interpreter was required to ensure she and her friends could properly experience and enjoy the concert.
LHG Live initially said that they'd provide a free ticket to any BSL interpreter that Reynolds wanted to bring to the show herself. However, she felt that it was the promoter's responsibility to provide the interpreter. To that end she applied for a court injunction to force LHG Live to offer that support.
Once a lawyer was involved, the promoter quickly agreed to hire the services of Performance Interpreting to ensure Reynolds and her friends could properly experience the concert. However, that BSL interpreter was only provided for Little Mix's set and not the support acts.
Feeling that the interpreter should have been provided for the full experience, Reynolds subsequently went legal again, arguing that LHG Live had not fully complied with its obligations under the Equality Act.
Judge Avent agreed. He rejected the promoter's argument that there was insufficient time to deal with Reynolds' request, concluding that LHG Live should have been prepared for such requests to be made, given its legal responsibilities under equalities legislation.
According to the BBC, the judge said he was concerned by "the fact that [LHG] appeared to have given no thought whatsoever to the possibility of deaf people attending one of their concerts and, therefore, [had] given [no] consideration to what reasonable adjustments might need to be made".
As a result, the promoter saw Reynolds' request "more as a nuisance than something which they should have been proactively pursuing".
Welcoming the ruling, Reynolds said: "The three of us wanted the same access to the event that everyone else had. The cost of the interpreter was minuscule to [LHG], but [their] response to our request was so hostile that we had no option but to ask the court for a ruling".
Avent awarded Reynolds and the other two women £5000 each in damages. Although, the BBC notes, the live music firm went into creditors voluntary liquidation, a type of insolvency, on 12 Aug 2020.
Little Mix themselves were not involved in the case. When the legal action began back in 2018 they said in a statement: "Little Mix strongly believe their concerts should be completely inclusive for all. The band welcome all fans to their shows, including those with hearing impairment, and encourage the promoters they work with to make provisions to ensure their fans can enjoy the concert experience".
Sexual assault lawsuit against Marilyn Manson dismissed
In the lawsuit, filed in June, an unnamed woman accused the musician of raping her and threatening to kill her in 2011. She also alleged that he had shown her a video in which he abused a female fan backstage at a concert.
At a hearing earlier this week, the judge overseeing the case dismissed it, saying that there was not enough evidence to extend the statute of limitations. The accuser had said that she had not come forward sooner due to repressed memories.
The judge did, however, give 20 days for the suit to be amended and resubmitted if additional details about the alleged rape can be provided.
There are three other outstanding lawsuits against Manson accusing him of sexual assault, from Ashley Morgan Smithline, 'Game Of Thrones' actor Esme Blanco, and his former assistant Ashley Walters.
Meanwhile, earlier this week, in a new filing in a criminal assault case against Manson, his attorney claimed that a videographer consented to being exposed to bodily fluids at a show in New Hampshire in 2019.
The musician was arrested in July over an outstanding warrant linked to that alleged incident. He was charged with two counts of simple assault, following claims by videographer Susan Fountain – who was filming a show at the Bank Of New Hampshire Pavilion in August 2019 – that he spat into the lens on her during his performance, also splashing saliva and snot onto her hands.
"The defendant's performance for the past 20 years are well known to include shocking and evocative antics similar to those that occurred here", attorney Kent Barker wrote in the new filing. "The alleged victim consented to exposing herself to potential contact with sweat, saliva and phlegm in close quarters".
Barker also said that Manson will argue that getting snot on Fountain was unintentional and will plead not guilty to the charges against him. If found guilty, he could be sentenced to a jail sentence of under a year and a fine of $2000.
David Bowie's later recordings to move to Warner in new deal
Warner first got involved in Bowie's recorded output in 2013, getting a big chunk of his catalogue via its acquisition of the one time EMI label Parlophone, which Universal was forced to sell when it bought the rest of the old EMI record company. The new deal encompasses his work from 2000 to 2016, up to final album 'Blackstar'.
"It's an incredible honour to have been chosen as the stewards of one of the most important and dynamic bodies of creative work in modern culture", says Warner Music's CEO For Recorded Music, Max Lousada. "The impact of Bowie's repeated reinvention and endless experimentation continues to resonate around the world - through the genres he transformed, the timeless songs and sounds he invented, and the immeasurable influence he's had on music, art, and fashion".
"We're excited that our expanded partnership with the Bowie estate will help us deliver innovative, career-spanning projects and attract new generations to his extraordinary musical universe", he adds.
Kevin Gore, President Of Global Catalogue at Warner Recorded Music, says: "To be entrusted with this phenomenal body of work is truly gratifying. For the past eight years, we've enjoyed a wonderful relationship with the Bowie estate, collaborating on a fantastic series of releases".
"Our entire catalogue team have taken great care to be thoughtful and steadfast in our promise to stay true to his artistic vision, while revealing previously unheard music and framing his genius in fresh contexts", he goes on. "With the addition of his immensely powerful later work to the Warner Music portfolio, we're looking forward to bringing Bowie's music to fans across the globe for many years to come".
A big part of Warner's work with Bowie's catalogue has been a series of 'Era' boxsets - the latest of which, covering 1992 to 2001, is due out later this year. Come 2023, I guess you can expect more of that sort of thing.
Lyrics site Genius sells for $80 million
"We are restructuring the way in which original content is produced at Genius and as part of that some very talented individuals on the content and production teams were let go", the buyer said in a statement.
The Genius sales, product and engineering teams are not affected by the downsizing, however, it seems, with MediaLab stating: "The scale of the community platform is what attracted us to Genius and this is where we will be heavily investing going forward, with a renewed focus on emerging artists".
According to Bloomberg, the sale of Genius confirms that the site, although still popular with its core audience, hasn't quite lived up to the hype it enjoyed in investment circles a few years back.
Citing Pitchbook, Bloomberg says that the Genius "price tag of $80 million represents less than what it raised over the years in venture capital".
The newswire adds: "Because the company's obligations to its preferred shareholders exceeded the sale price, investors won't be paid out in full. Genius finalised the deal to sell its assets this week, with $60 million paid on closing and $20 million to be paid in two years".
Commenting on the deal from the Genius side, the site's co-founder and CEO Tom Lehman states: "MediaLab's commitment to investing in artists and fan-driven communities makes them the ideal partner to propel Genius forward. We are immensely grateful to everyone who has made Genius what it is today".
Warner launches new dance imprint
But what is this new imprint called? Well, I'm glad you asked. It's called Signal >> Supply. Why is it called Signal >> Supply? Well, I'm glad you asked. "The name is borne from the idea that the DJ reacts to their dancefloor - the crowd signals what they want and the DJ supplies it". See, simple.
Says Parsons: "This will be the first time ever that Atlantic Records UK has had a space solely focussed on finding and breaking emerging DJs and producers and I believe it's a massively exciting prospect. By using the techniques we know work to break artists globally and championing a diverse range of forward-thinking dance music, I know we can create something special. I'm hugely passionate about dance music and can't wait to get started!"
Ed Howard and Briony Turner, Co-Presidents of Atlantic Records UK, add: "Dance music has been a dominate gene in music culture for decades and today feels as influential as ever, so we’re excited to develop a dedicated arm within the Atlantic UK stable in Signal >> Supply. This new imprint will be a breeding ground for Tristan, Kevin and Joe to create a truly subversive roster for a new generation of dance music fans. We're very proud of all they have achieved and THRILLED to start this new chapter with them".
Who are Kevin and Joe? Well, I'm glad you asked. They are Senior A&R Managers Kevin Christian-Blair and Joe Barbe, who are working alongside Parsons on all these dance music good times. Good times including 'Joy' from Manchester-based producer Salute, which is the new imprint's first release.
Salute, I note - because he says so on his Twitter page - is meant to be written with a lower case 's'. Then again, Signal >> Supply is meant to be written in all uppercase.
Can't people just follow the rules of English when it comes to what gets a capital letter and what doesn't? You know, the grammar rules they taught you at school. And, as those of you who were paying attention in English class will remember, proper nouns always start with capital letters, and the only word you write in all caps is "THRILLED".
UK live sector launches commitment to reach zero carbon emissions by 2030
The commitment is part of a campaign led by LIVE Green, the sustainability wing of LIVE, the recently launched sector-wide trade group for the UK live music industry. The group says that it plans to build on existing sustainability initiatives within the sector, and will "identify and signpost how live music businesses can accelerate their transition to a low carbon future, setting out a roadmap for action in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change".
LIVE is a trade body of trade bodies, and all of its members have signed up to what it is calling the Beyond Zero Declaration. This is "a voluntary sector-specific commitment to deliver measurable and targeted action on climate change, with the ultimate aim of reaching net zero emissions by 2030".
By signing up to the declaration, participating groups are committing to "work with LIVE Green to set reduction targets and reduce operational and business travel greenhouse gas emissions, reporting on progress annually; develop a net zero roadmap and action plan - taking responsibility for actions in energy, waste, procurement, transport, food and governance; understand and define emissions within value chains, follow best practice to affect change in areas outside of direct control and collaborate with suppliers and clients to reduce them; and ensure staff undertake climate education and have an ongoing commitment to knowledge sharing within the live music sector and beyond".
Commenting on the declaration, John Langford, COO of AEG Europe and Chair of LIVE Green, says: "We are now at a tipping point for our climate: this is not a rehearsal. We want to tap into the power of music to help deliver a step-change in the environmental impact of our sector – from carbon emissions through to plastic waste – helping us demonstrate that moving faster towards decarbonisation is a route to a competitive advantage".
Meanwhile Tom Schroeder at Paradigm Talent Agency adds: "There can be no shying away from the environmental impact of our global business, and although there has been significant progress across the live music sector, now is the time to accelerate our efforts. By bringing together the active specialists and initiatives under one banner, LIVE Green is pioneering a means to fast-track decarbonisation across the sector through education, awareness and tangible action. We look forward to building on the sector's progress so far, to make our low carbon future a reality".
Ikea has partnered with Swedish House Mafia on a range of furniture designed to be used while making music at home. It's set to launch in 2022. "We are very excited and happy to announce the collaboration with Swedish House Mafia", says Ikea Sweden's Product Design Leader James Futcher. "With their solid expertise in music production, we hope to be able together to democratise creativity and music production so that even more people can be more creative at home".
Live music firm Coalition Presents has acquired promoter and management company Sucker. "I've admired Coalition as a key hub of quality entertainment for a long time now, so it's a great feeling to be given the opportunity to take the company into a new era and with a new vision", says Sucker's Luke Joynes, who takes on a new full time role at Coalition. "People are really starting to notice the growth and presence of Sucker now. I can't wait to show people what we've got planned for Sucker and Coalition Presents".
Warner Music South Africa has acquired local independent label Coleske. It will continue to run as a standalone business. "As an artist myself, I've seen the business from both sides", says label founder Arnold Coleske. "We've built an amazing business here in South Africa, and I know that partnering with Warner Music will take it to the next level. Our artists can benefit from its global firepower, while still enjoying the boutique support of the team they know and trust at Coleske".
Sony Music Publishing Germany has signed songwriter-producer duo Twocolors, aka Emil Reinke and Pierre-Angelo Papaccio. "Twocolors is a phenomenon", says Sony A&R Manager Niklas Tholen. "Emil and Pierro have such a broad set of influences, and their approach to songwriting is uniquely powerful".
German artist Helene Fischer has extended her deal with Universal Music. "To me, a successful partnership consists of mutual trust, professionalism, respect, endurance and the willingness to go that extra mile together", she says. "That is exactly what I have experienced with Universal for so many years. I cannot wait to continue realising new projects and ideas together in the next exciting chapter of our collaboration".
Indie label digital rights agency Merlin has extended and enhanced its existing music licensing partnership with South Asian streaming service JioSaavn. "We look forward to collaborating with Merlin on impactful initiatives", says JioSaavn's VP Content Partnerships Keshav Bhola. "This is a strategic step to work towards the growth of partners, artists and the music industry in the long term".
Karoliina Kanerva has been promoted to the position of Head Of International at Warner Music Nordics. "It's a great privilege to take up this role at such an exciting time", she says. "The Nordics and Baltic region is at the forefront of breaking the international stars of tomorrow".
Indie record shop Crash Records, e-commerce platform Music Glue, and online retailers Rarewaves and The Hut have been elected to the board of the Entertainment Retailers Association. "With the digital and physical market leaders of virtually every segment of the music, video and games markets, ERA's membership is more diverse and arguably more representative than it has ever been in our three decade history", says ERA CEO Kim Bayley.
Music rights tracking platform Utopia Music has announced the appointment of Åsa Carild as Head Of Platform. "As a songwriter and singer, I've seen the music industry problems first-hand that really need to be fixed", she says. "Utopia is all about helping the business by creating and spearheading technologies that improve trust and efficiency".
LABELS & PUBLISHERS
The UK's Competition & Markets Authority has deemed that Sony Music's acquisition of AWAL and Kobalt Neighbouring Rights should now be scrutinised some more via an in-depth phase two investigation, to determine whether or not it raises competition concerns. And why the hell not? Sony, of course, said that the CMA's initial conclusion last week that there probably were concerns and that a phase two investigation might be required was "perplexing".
Kanye West has released the video for '24' from his 'Donda' album.
Bring Me The Horizon have released new single 'Die4U', the first track from the next record in their 'Post Human' series.
Nick Cave And the Bad Seeds have released a previously unreleased track from their 'Ghosteen' sessions, 'Earthlings'. It will appear on their upcoming 'B-Sides & Rarities Part II' compilation, out on 22 Oct.
Now a month away from the release of her second album, Self Esteem has posted new single 'Moody'. "[It] is a song about reclaiming being a moody cow", she says. "My whole life I've been referred to as mardy - northern for moody - but lately I've been realising as a woman in this world, especially as a woman in the music industry, of fucking course I'm moody! It's such a slog even getting heard, every day shitting yourself about your safety, the societal expectations. I'd love to be sweet and happy go lucky, but I'm afraid I'm too tired to be most of the time".
With their new album 'Existence Is Futile' set to be released on 22 Oct, Ed Sheeran's faves Cradle Of Filth have released the second single from it, 'Necromantic Fantasies'.
The Lord - founded by Sunn o))) guitarist Greg Anderson - has collaborated with Alice In Chains vocalist William Duval on new track 'We Who Walk In Light'. It's part of a collection of collaborations, proceeds from which will be donated to MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer's Jail Guitar Doors charity.
Kim Gordon's Body/Head project have announced a new collaboration with experimental musician Aaron Dilloway. Going by the name Body/Dilloway/Head, they will release a three track album on 19 Nov. From it, this is 'Goin Down'.
'Geometry Of You' is the latest track to be released from Joan As Police Woman, Tony Allen and Dave Okumu's collaborative album 'The Solution Is Restless'. The album is out on 5 Nov.
GIGS & TOURS
Elton John has postponed all 2021 UK and European dates on his 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' farewell tour until 2023, due to a hip injury that requires surgery. "At the end of my summer break I fell awkwardly on a hard surface and have been in considerable pain and discomfort in my hip ever since", he explains. "I have been advised to have an operation as soon as possible to get me back to full fitness and make sure there are no long-term complications".
GRM Daily's Rated Awards took place last night, with Central Cee and Tion Wayne & Russ Millions leading the pack with two wins each. Watch the ceremony here.
The Scottish Album Of The Year Award longlist has been announced. Up for the prize this year are: AiiTee, Andrew Wasylyk, Arab Strap, Bemz, Biffy Clyro, Carla J Easton, Erland Cooper, Fergus McCreadie, Jenny Sturgeon, Joesef, Kübler Ross, Lizzie Reid, Matt Carmichael, Mogwai, Paul Towndrow, Rachel Newton, Stanley Odd, Taahliah, The Ninth Wave and The Snuts.
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
White House says it only offered to call Nicki Minaj about vaccines
Minaj, of course, made headlines this week after she revealed that she has not yet received a vaccine because she doesn't feel that she has done "enough research" into them. That research is seemingly ongoing. Though the main pieces of research she's presented so far are a Twitter poll, and a claim that her cousin's friend in Trinidad's testicles swelled up and he became impotent after he was vaccinated.
Her seemingly baseless claim regarding the potential impact of the COVID vaccine on testicles was condemned by chief medical scientists in the UK and US, while Trinidad & Tobago's health minister said that it had hindered his campaign to convince people in the country to get vaccinated.
Minaj then claimed that she had been invited to the White House to discuss the matter further, and that she would go there to represent concerned citizens such as herself.
"The White House has invited me and I think it's a step in the right direction", she tweeted. "Yes, I'm going. I'll be dressed in all pink like 'Legally Blonde' so they know I mean business. I'll ask questions on behalf of the people who have been made fun of for simply being human".
However, despite being a top researcher into all things vaccines and coronaviruses, she seems to have read her White House email incorrectly. A spokesperson for the White House told the New York Times yesterday: "As we have with others, we offered a call with Nicki Minaj and one of our doctors to answer questions she has about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine".
White House press secretary Jen Psaki also confirmed to reporters that "a very early stage call" had been offered in order to offer "accurate information" about the safety of the vaccines. "This is pretty standard and something we do all the time", she added.
"We ... recognise that people have questions out there", she went on. "They have questions they want to have answered by their doctors. We have doctors who can answer questions, and this is something, again, in our outreach to celebrities".
On Wednesday, Minaj revealed in an Instagram Live video that she had received a temporary suspension from Twitter for spreading COVID-19 misinformation. Or, as she framed it, "innocently ask[ing] a question about something going in your body".
As a result, she said she "will never use Twitter again". She has not written anything on Twitter since Wednesday night. And maybe that's for the best.