|THURSDAY 30 SEPTEMBER 2021||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: A judge in LA has removed Britney Spears' father from his role as conservator of her estate. Judge Brenda Penny also indicated that she now plans to begin the process to completely terminate the conservatorship that has controlled Britney's personal and financial affairs for thirteen years... [READ MORE]|
Britney Spears' father removed from conservatorship role
Jamie Spears has played a key role in running his daughter's music business and personal life through the conservatorship ever since it was created by the courts back in 2008, the legal arrangement being put in place after Britney went through a very public mental breakdown.
Legal wrangling over the running of the conservatorship began after Jamie temporarily stood down due to ill-health. On his return, it was argued that Britney no longer wanted her father involved as a conservator. It was during the subsequent legal back and forth that Britney gave a headline grabbing testimony in court, in which she called the conservatorship "abusive" and requested that the arrangement be terminated, while being particularly critical about her father.
In the wake of that testimony, various people involved in the conservatorship resigned, including Britney's court-appointed lawyer. The attorney who replaced him, Matthew Rosengart, quickly got to work pulling the conservatorship apart, in particular demanding that Jamie be removed from his role as conservator of his client's estate with immediate effect.
Jamie initially resisted calls for him to resign, but then said he would step down from the conservatorship when the time was right, insisting a smooth transfer was required to any new conservator. But then, out of the blue, earlier this month Jamie filed new legal papers calling for the entire conservatorship to be terminated.
Although Rosengart said that Jamie's sudden support for ending the conservatorship was "a victory and vindication" for Britney, he also questioned the motives behind that change of position. Accusing Britney's father of "evident and ongoing" mismanagement of his client's finances, he said Jamie was now pushing for the termination of the conservatorship in a bid to avoid any scrutiny of his handling of his daughter's estate.
With that in mind, Rosengart argued, Jamie needed to be removed from the arrangement urgently, even if the conservatorship was going to be wound down completely later this year anyway. "Every day Mr Spears clings to his post is another day of anguish and harm to his daughter", Rosengart declared.
In the latest court hearing on the conservatorship yesterday, Jamie's legal rep Vivian Thoreen said that the focus now should be on the termination of the whole arrangement, rather than removing her client from his conservator role.
Addressing Rosengart's argument that Jamie only wants termination to avoid any scrutiny of his management of his daughter's estate, Thoreen countered that termination wouldn't actually stop that scrutiny, not least because the termination process will involve a full accounting of the conservatorship.
However, Rosengart continued to demand that Jamie be cut out of the conservatorship immediately, stressing that his client's conservator of the person, Jodi Montgomery, as well as her psychiatrist, both agreed that doing so was necessary to protect Britney's mental health.
He then again accused Jamie of misconduct, before citing one of the latest documentaries on Britney's legal affairs and the claims within it that a security firm hired by the conservatorship had placed listening devices in Britney's bedroom.
While Jamie denies all the allegations of bad conduct - indeed Thoreen said her client's record was "impeccable" - Judge Penny nevertheless concluded that, whoever is in the right and whoever is in the wrong, "the current situation is not tenable and appears to be a toxic environment".
To that end, Jamie is out. Accountant John Zabel was then appointed as an interim trustee of the conservatorship, who will now work alongside Montgomery, who remains as conservator of the person. Meanwhile, Penny also indicated that she will order that the conservatorship be terminated entirely before the end of the year.
Phoebe Bridgers sued for alleged defamation
Owner of the Sound Space recording studio in LA, Nelson says that he met Bridgers several years ago with a view to recording together, although that never actually happened. However, he claims, in 2018 he and his then-girlfriend "began having consensual sexual encounters" with Bridgers.
He split with his girlfriend the following year, he says, but she and Bridgers "continued their relationship". Then in October last year, the lawsuit claims, Bridgers posted on Instagram that she had "witnessed and can personally verify much of the abuse (grooming, stealing, violence) perpetuated by Chris Nelson". She also directed her followers to his ex-girlfriend's account, where further allegations were detailed.
These allegations included that he sold fake rare guitars, stole tens of thousands of dollars from a neighbour and hacked women's email accounts, and that he was also guilty of "racially motivated hate crimes", including beating "a young Latinx man to death" and "bludgeoned at least one other man with a baseball bat". Bridgers also shared these claims on her own Instagram account, it is claimed.
All of these allegations are false, says Nelson, and Bridgers "intentionally used her high-profile public platform on Instagram to publish false and defamatory statements regarding [Nelson] in order to destroy his reputation". He claims that Bridgers and his ex-girlfriend have a "vendetta" against him.
In December last year, Nelson filed another defamation lawsuit against musician and actor Noël Wells. In that, he claimed that Wells had contacted an artist manager with whom he had a working relationship, telling said manager that he had "committed an 'incredibly predatory move on [her]'" and that he "exhibited 'incredibly predatory behaviour' ... toward young females including young female musicians".
In the new lawsuit, Nelson is seeking $3.8 million from Bridgers for defamation, the related tort of 'false light', intentional infliction of emotional distress, and intentional interference with prospective economic relations. Bridgers has not yet commented.
Cox wants to see evidence in majors v Charter copyright case in ongoing bid to overturn billion dollar judgement
It was originally BMG that sued Cox, of course, successfully arguing that the ISP had a deliberately shoddy system for dealing with repeat copyright infringers among its customer base. Internet companies are obliged to have and enforce decent repeat infringer policies in order to benefit from the copyright safe harbour, which allows those companies to avoid liability when their customers use their networks and servers to infringe copyright.
Without a decent repeat infringer policy, Cox could be held liable for its users' infringement. And once that had been confirmed, the majors followed BMG's lead, sued Cox, and won a neat billion dollars in damages in relation to 10,017 specific songs and recordings which the music companies said had been illegally shared by the ISP's customers.
As noted, Cox is now appealing that ruling. Meanwhile, the majors have filed similar litigation against a number of other American internet firms, including Charter Communications. The latter is relevant to the latest tactic being employed by Cox in its ongoing bid to not have to pay a billion dollars to the record companies.
Even once the copyright safe harbour is taken out of the picture, to hold an ISP liable for its customers' infringement, you need to be able to prove in court that those customers have indeed illegally distributed songs and/or recordings controlled by whichever record label or music publisher is pursuing the litigation.
In the Cox case, the labels relied on evidence provided by anti-piracy company MarkMonitor, which had been accessing content being illegally shared by Cox customers, confirming that content was music controlled by the majors, and then issuing takedown notices to the internet company.
As part of that, MarkMonitor and the majors had a hard disk full of the music files that had been downloaded during that process.
The lawsuit was focused on music shared and takedown notices issued between 2012 and 2014. During the trial, the Cox side noted that metadata on the drive showed it had been created in 2016. But reps for MarkMonitor said that, while that was true, the files had been originally downloaded between 2012 and 2014, and were stored elsewhere before being copied onto the drive in 2016.
However, Cox says there is reason to believe that the files on the all important hard disk were, in fact, downloaded in 2016. And that's based on what is now going on in the Charter Communications case, where a similar hard disk of evidence has been presented by MarkMonitor and the majors.
In the Charter case, additional data and information has been provided by the plaintiffs in relation to the files on the hard disk. Similar data and information should also have been provided in its case, Cox now argues, and the fact it wasn't damages the credibility of the evidence the majors provided in order to prove the ISP's customers infringed the plaintiffs' copyrights.
In a new legal filing, Cox states: "Discovery in [the Charter] action has revealed a strong likelihood that plaintiffs in Cox concealed materials and information that would have demonstrated that all the files on the hard drive were downloaded in 2016 - and not as contemporaneous verification of alleged infringement before the notices were sent between 2012 and 2014".
Noting the extra data and information provided in the Charter case, Cox goes on: "All of this should have been disclosed during discovery in Cox [too] - indeed, it all falls within categories of information plaintiffs either pledged to produce or were specifically ordered to produce by the district court".
This new legal filing has actually been made to the court where the Charter case is ongoing, because Cox wants access to data and information that has been provided in that case - much of which is not currently available in the public domain - in order to strengthen its claim that the majors concealed important evidence during its legal battle. The hope is that, if it can prove the majors did indeed hide evidence from the court, that could be enough to overturn the billion dollar ruling.
It remains to be seen if this new tactic has any mileage.
Utopia Music buys Quincy Jones backed AI firm Musimap
The Quincy Jones-backed Musimap uses "proprietary intelligence to generate unique emotional metadata for clients" which can be used "to search for similar songs; automatically create playlists based on certain genres, moods, etc; and match playlists with personality profiles". And it's been doing that sort of stuff to date with clients like Universal Music, Warner Music, BMG and Vevo.
Confirming the acquisition, Utopia Chair Mattias Hjelmstedt says: "The acquisition of Musimap represents yet another milestone on our journey of becoming the world's preferred technology supporting the entire music industry by creating new revenue streams, consolidating data and reducing administration while offering a broad spectrum of diverse, yet deeply innovative services across the globe. This is a key enabler in making the world a better place for creators through 'fair pay for every play'".
Meanwhile, Musimap's Executive Chairman Andreas Spechtler adds: "Musimap's AI technology and the team's experience in music and emotional data is truly unique and recognised by customers like Warner Music and supported by music icons like Quincy Jones ... with the acquisition by Utopia Music, Musimap's technology will become a global standard for emotional AI in music that will supercharge the global music industry. The Musimap team is proud to become a key component of the growth and success story of the Utopia Music family".
Meanwhile, for those of you who are only here for a Quincy Jones quote, here it is: "Musimap's technology is the future and it makes my soul smile to see it become the AI backbone of another tech giant. Teaming up with Utopia will undoubtedly unlock new doors for Musimap, and allow it to continue changing the way we consume music, and empower creators, through enhanced discoverability. From the looks of my personality profile, as provided by [Musimap's] MusiMe [tool], I can tell this machine has sharpened its left brain! Big-time props to the team and I look forward to continuing in the exploration of music through emotions together".
David Bowie's 'lost' 2001 album Toy to be released
Originally intended as the follow-up to 1999's 'Hours', the album is a mixture of new songs and re-recorded versions of some of Bowie's older work. A dispute with his then label Virgin over the album resulted in it being shelved, and also prompted his move back to Sony Music - him signing with Columbia in 2002.
Although it eventually leaked in 2011, 'Toy' has never been commercially available. The album will initially feature as part of the fifth 'Era' boxset, 'David Bowie 5: Brilliant Adventure (1992-2001)', which is set to hit shelves in November. It will then be put out as a standalone release (complete with its own deluxe boxset) on 7 Jan - the day before Bowie's birthday.
The album's producer Mark Plati says: "'Toy' is like a moment in time captured in an amber of joy, fire and energy. It's the sound of people happy to be playing music".
"David revisited and re-examined his work from decades prior through prisms of experience and fresh perspective", he adds. "A parallel not lost on me as I now revisit it 20 years later. From time to time, he used to say, 'Mark, this is our album' - I think because he knew I was so deeply in the trenches with him on that journey. I'm happy to finally be able to say it now belongs to all of us".
The announcement of these two new Bowie releases follows Warner Music's recent deal to bring the musician's later Sony-released albums under its control. That will come into force in 2023, at which point we can presumably expect further retrospective boxsets. Once that happens, Warner will control pretty much all of Bowie's recorded output from 1968 to 2016.
Alongside the announcement that 'Toy' will finally be seeing the light of day, Parlophone has released a track from it, one of the re-records, 'You've Got A Habit Of Leaving'. The original version of the song was released in 1965, by one of Bowie's pre-Bowie projects, Davy Jones And The Lower Third.
Idles announce fourth album, Crawler
"It's the most important song on the album, really", says vocalist Joe Talbot of the single. "There's so many bands that go through the small rooms and dream of making it into the big rooms".
"Being able to write a soul tune like this made me go, fuck - we're at a place where we're actually allowed to go to these big rooms and be creative and not just go through the motions and really appreciate what we've got", he continues. "The song is sort of an allegory of feeling lost and getting through it. It's one that I really love singing".
Guitarist Mark Bowen, who co-produced the album alongside Kenny Beats, adds: "I didn't know Joe could sing like that. He's been trying to write 'Be My Baby' since the very beginning, but he didn't want to be the punk guy wearing the Motown clothes. He wanted it to feel natural, and this song is".
The album is set for release on 12 Nov, and the band will head out on a sold out tour (bar one extra date added at the Brixton Academy on 19 Jan) at the beginning of next year. Now, here's 'The Beachland Ballroom'.
Continuing the single's seemingly endless promo cycle, Coldplay and BTS have released the video for 'My Universe'.
Having recently announced her sixteenth album, 'Ocean To Ocean', Tori Amos has now released its first single, 'Speaking With Trees'. "We have all had moments that can knock us down", she says. "This record sits with you where you are, especially if you are in a place of loss. I am fascinated when someone has gone through a tragedy, and how they work through their grief".
Just like you wanted, Limp Bizkit have released their first new track since 2014, 'Dad Vibes'. The band said last month that new songs would be arriving "one after another in rapid succession very soon", ahead of a new album release.
Kali Uchis has teamed up with SZA for new single 'Fue Mejor'. "This is Latin R&B, this is SZA singing in Spanish for the very first time, this is spooky season, this IS the moment", says Uchis.
CL is back with 'Lover Like Me', the second single from her upcoming album 'Alpha'. That album, by the way, is out on 22 Oct.
Sega Bodega's second album 'Romeo' is set for release on 12 Nov. So that's good. Here's new single 'Angel On My Shoulder'.
Wet Leg have released their highly anticipated second single and [huge sigh of relief] it's good. Really good. Thank the sweet Lord. I think it's going to be OK, guys. I think it's going to be OK. Here's 'Wet Dream'.
Set to release their debut album next month, La Luz have released new single 'Oh, Blue'. They'll also play The Scala in London on 28 Apr.
Qrion has released '11-11', the second single from her upcoming album 'I Hope It Lasts Forever'.
William Doyle will release new EP 'Alternate Lands' on 26 Nov. Here's new single 'The Unanswered Why'.
Falle Nioke and Ghost Culture have released their latest track together, 'Ayekouma'. "I wrote this song to express my feelings about destiny", says Nioke. "That in this life not everyone is going to like you. Some will, some won't, but we shouldn't worry about that as we are all here to live our life. We have a destiny that no man can change. We must all follow our different paths as we all have a reason for being". Nioke will be touring the UK in November and December.
Tusks is back with new single 'Fall Into You'. The track, she explains, "started by being heavily influenced by the sound of an orchestra tuning up. It ended up turning it into a really raw and honest love song with the lyrics talking about going through hard patches in a relationship and being confused and pulled in different directions, but then after every hard phase that you experience, you learn more about love and how to love and your love for the other person just continuously deepens and becomes more real".
Uokaye have released new single 'Panda Dreams' featuring Sei.
GIGS & TOURS
Helmet will be in the UK and Ireland next year. For a tour, not just a holiday. They'll eventually wind up at The Garage in London on 21 May.
Murcof will headline EartH in London on 3 Mar - his first UK solo show for ten years.
Rolo Tomassi have announced that they will be touring the UK in February next year, finishing up at London's Oval Space on 24 Feb. "With more new music to follow, we can't wait to get back at it and be back in a live, touring setting", say the band. "These dates are the biggest headline shows we've done and we have lots planned to make sure it's the best show we've ever presented. Really excited to welcome Pupil Slicer as our special guests also". Did I mention Pupil Slicer will be special guests? Well, now I have.
The nominations for this year's UK Music Video Awards are out. Have a look here. The ceremony will take place at The Roundhouse in London on 4 Nov.
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Dave Grohl's throne appears again, seating Greyhawk bassist Darin Wall
In a post on Instagram, Wall said: "It was beyond a thrill to sit in Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters' throne last night. This whole ordeal has been intense, surreal and humbling. Of course, I wish it never happened, and that this bullet was not in my leg, but the love and support the rock and metal community has shown is staggering. Words can't describe how moving this night was. Thank you all!"
Explaining how he got shot in the leg, Wall told KTVB earlier this month that the incident began when he saw a man acting strangely outside a venue that Greyhawk had just played in Boise, Idaho. When Wall and a member of another band refused the suspicious man entry into the venue, he returned to his car and got a gun. During a subsequent physical altercation, Wall was shot in the upper thigh.
"I did get lucky with the location of the shot", he said. "It's in a place that's not damaging anything that's gonna be permanent, we don't think".
Grohl originally had his throne built in order to continue touring with Foo Fighters after falling off stage and breaking his leg in 2015. As well as providing somewhere for Grohl to sit, it also came with a big Foo Fighters logo and an almost certainly unnecessary amount of lights.
The throne was seen again in 2017 when Axl Rose borrowed it to tour with both Guns N Roses and AC/DC, after he injured his foot at a GNR show.
Earlier this year, Grohl told Classic Rock that he'd lent the throne out after GNR bassist Duff McKagan personally called him to ask if it was available. "So Axl took it out with Guns N Roses, then he took it out with AC/DC", explained Grohl. "And then all of a sudden I became the guy you come to if you break a limb on tour, like Thrones R Us".
As a thank you gift, Grohl revealed, Rose bought him "the nicest fucking guitar I have ever played in my life". So, no pressure on Darin Wall there.