|THURSDAY 3 NOVEMBER 2022||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: An artist and songwriter has sued Disney claiming that a song which appeared on the soundtrack to 2019's 'Frozen II' movie ripped off a track he wrote and released via his own label Pelican Records all the way back in 1999... [READ MORE]|
Disney sued over alleged song theft on Frozen II soundtrack
The alleged rip off song is 'Some Things Never Change'. According to Daniel E Grigson, it is basically a rework of his song 'That Girl'. Indeed, his lawsuit claims, the similarities between his song and the 'Frozen II' song "are so striking that they can only be explained by copying".
Grigson's legal filing provides the background to the release of 'That Girl' in 1999 and also talks through his wider work writing music for and with children. That includes various releases via his Pelican Records label plus some projects that had a presence on YouTube and social media.
'Some Things Never Change' was written by husband-and-wife songwriting team Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. The chances of them, and especially Robert, having heard Grigson's output is high, the lawsuit reckons, because he has "publicly admitted he always loves to listen to other songs that could be useful to draw inspiration from and loves watching any kind of YouTube".
A big chunk of the lawsuit analyses the allegedly similarities between the two songs, partly based on Grigson's own analysis, but also based on the work of one of those expert musicologists, Robert Tomaro. Though, so similar are the two songs, Grigson states, both he and his then eleven year old daughter immediately spotted the rip off when they first watched 'Frozen II'.
The songwriter "first heard the song 'Some Things Never Change' while attending the film 'Frozen II' during the week after its release on 27 Nov 2019", the legal papers explain. "As the song was being performed, he involuntarily stood straight up, turned to look at his wife, and then at his kids, his eyes wide open as saucers".
"The close similarity to his own work 'That Girl' was so striking to him that it caught him off guard, the beat, rhythm, feel, theme, words", it goes on. "He sat back down with his head in his hands. His eleven year old daughter leaned over to him and said 'Dad, Disney took your song'".
Grigson wants a formal declaration from the court that 'Some Things Never Change' is a rip off of his song, and that therefore both the Lopezes and Disney infringed his copyright. He would also obviously like lots of lovely damages, the specifics of which are left unspecified.
We await Disney's response.
John Rostron named new CEO of the Association Of Independent Festivals
"It's a great honour to take on this role at a time when AIF feels more important than ever", says Rostron. "My thanks to outgoing CEO Paul Reed for all he has done for the organisation in raising its profile, value and relevance".
"Festivals are facing numerous challenges as they grapple with pricing alongside growing costs across the supply chain, all while music fans themselves face a cost-of-living crisis", he goes on. "Add to that a vital renewed focus on climate action, audience welfare and diversity, equity and inclusion, and there are plenty of ways that AIF can and will make a meaningful difference for its members".
AIF Chair Matthew Phillip adds: "It's a pleasure to welcome John to AIF. He's a tremendously experienced executive, having fulfilled a range of high-level positions at many respected organisations, and with a track record of advocacy and championing independent music businesses. Paul Reed has done an exceptional job in growing AIF both in membership and influence, and I'm confident that John will help continue that trajectory, as well as taking AIF in new directions".
Rostron will take up his new post on 18 Nov. His appointment was announced at the AIF AGM yesterday, at which four new members of the organisation's board of directors were also announced. They are Eskimo Dance CEO Steven Campbell, Vision Nine Festivals and Marketing Director Suze Bayliss, Zenfest Director Stefan Poelman, and MD of New Bohemia Music Joe Barnett.
New survey reveals ongoing challenges in live sector
Other stats from the survey commissioned by CM.com - a company which provides various marketing, ticketing and customer relations technologies - include that 15% of people are less inclined to travel for live events than before the COVID period; one in three of those surveyed had bought tickets for an event and then not attended, sometimes because of illness, sometimes because of the other costs associated with attending; and a quarter are spending less money in venues once they are at a show.
Commenting on the survey, Paul Everett, Head Of Music & Live Events at CM.com, says: "The findings from our report show what we have been experiencing on the ground, which is that consumer behaviour within live music is shifting rapidly. We've taken care to report honestly and accurately on what is happening right now. The pandemic was a time when collectivism and creativity flourished. This report provides insights which will keep the spirit of conversation and collaboration going as we navigate the new landscape together".
Stormzy announces football diversity programme, BBC announces special programming around new album
Although 39% of roles on the pitch are taken up by players with black or mixed black heritage, behind the scenes only 6.7% of senior roles are, according to research carried out by Adidas and the FARE Network. #Merky FC aims to change that by offering paid work placements to black people aged between eighteen and 24 years old.
Various companies and organisations within and beyond the football sector are supporting the scheme, including Manchester United, Fulham FC, UEFA, Sky, LADbible, Footballco, Versus, KSS and Warner Music.
"Just 6.7% of senior roles in football are taken by someone who identifies as black or mixed black heritage", says Stormzy. "We barely see any black team managers, coaches, sports presenters, assistants, ops managers, sales managers, accountants, marketing managers or physiotherapists - the list goes on, nor are many of us even aware of the vast roles available within the football industry. Through the #Merky FC initiative we hope to inspire real change within this field as part of my wider commitment to support racial equality in the UK".
"With the support of Adidas and the additional ten partners, we will be in a position to aid the people who may have experienced disadvantages during their football career pathway", he continues. "We strongly encourage other companies to join us in our mission".
A spokesperson for Adidas adds: "We are passionate about providing inclusive opportunities to young talent in the UK. We are proud to be working in partnership with Stormzy to introduce #Merky FC, an initiative that directly tackles some of the biggest barriers facing UK youth in football today, by creating a legacy of career opportunities off the pitch alongside the other partners".
"Along with the support of our network of Adidas partners", the spokesperson continues, "we are committed to fighting for equal representation in football, and this launch is only the beginning for #Merky FC. Watch this space".
The programme will begin offering work placements in January. To apply, go to merkyfc.com.
Now, can you handle more Stormzy news? Don't answer that, I don't care. I'm giving it to you anyway. The BBC has announced a series of special programming across TV and radio to mark the release of Stormzy's new album, 'This Is What I Mean', later this month.
BBC One will air a show called 'A Stormzy Special', filmed at Abbey Road Studios, which will include live performances of various songs and an interview with the rapper by Trevor Nelson.
"I first interviewed Stormzy in 2014 for his debut 'Live Lounge' at 1Xtra and I haven't interviewed him since then", says Nelson. "When I met him he was the hottest new MC in the UK and now he has become a cultural icon. I'm really looking forward to hosting this show and to being able to chat to him once again".
That will be broadcast at 10.40pm on 15 Nov. By that time, you will also have been able to hear a load of Stormzy content on BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2 and BBC 1Xtra earlier the same day.
At 8.10am, Greg James will have the world exclusive first play of the rapper's new single on the 'Radio 1 Breakfast' show. If you flick between that and 'The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show' on Radio 2 and '1Xtra Breakfast' with Nadia Jae, you'll also get to hear some live performances recorded exclusively for the BBC.
Is that it though? No, it's not. Switch back to Radio 1 at 7pm and you'll hear Clara Amfo interviewing the rapper on her 'Future Sounds' show, as well as five more live tracks recorded at Abbey Road.
"It was great to have this special conversation with Stormzy for 'Future Sounds', his artistic evolution has been a joy to watch but more importantly listen to", says Amfo. "Consistently honest, funny and charming, I'm excited for our listeners to learn about this new part of his career journey".
'This Is What I Mean' is out on 25 Nov.
BBC announces latest cost saving measures
This property downsizing will see the broadcaster leave Wogan House, the building next to its London hub at Broadcasting House that is the current base of Radio 2 and 6 Music. Previously known as Western House, it was renamed in honour of the late BBC broadcaster Terry Wogan after his death in 2016. Most of the programmes currently made in Wogan House will move to studios next door in Broadcasting House.
Up north, the BBC is also giving up Bridge House in the MediaCity complex in Salford, which currently houses teams that make children's, education and sports programmes. Those staff will relocate to other buildings within MediaCity.
As well as saving money, the Beeb says cutting its property portfolio will also have environmental benefits. It states: "A reduction in the size of the estate will help deliver the BBC's net zero commitments as a smaller property footprint will lead to a reduction in overall greenhouse gas emissions". Although presumably other companies will move into those buildings, and they'll continue to use energy and stuff. But that won't bother the BBC's own eco-stats, I guess.
This cost-saving move in terms of buildings follows an announcement earlier this week regarding budget cuts within the BBC's network of local radio stations in England.
The total number of shows broadcast on that network will be cut, with local stations in each region sharing programmes for big chunks of the day, and a single programme being broadcast across the network from 10pm each weekday.
BBC celebrates 70 years of singles chart by playing most streamed track released each year
And if you're thinking Greatest Hits Radio recently did that, well, that was the 300 most streamed tracks that were released in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. The BBC series is looking at the most streamed track for each year since 1952. So - of all the tracks released in 1952 - Gene Kelly's 'Singin In The Rain' has been streamed the most in the UK. Get it? Good.
Radio 2 will air much of the series via its 'Sounds Of' shows on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 Nov - so that covers the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. There'll be a special programme on Radio 2 on 12 Nov to cover the 50s, meanwhile Radio 1 will handle the 2000s and 2010s on 11 Nov and 18 Nov respectively.
The UK singles chart first began life as a feature in the NME in November 1952. A weekly chart with 'official' in its name was later launched by Music Week and the BBC in 1969, which then went through various subsequent changes before becoming the chart we all know and love and occasionally forget about, which is now lovingly crafted each week by the Official Charts Company.
But, you know, we went through all of this in an interview with OCC boss Martin Talbot ten years ago when the chart was 60 years old.
And he's back here now with a quote about this special BBC series of programmes. "Official Charts are proud to team up with our long-standing partners at the BBC to compile this unique playlist of 70 incredible songs, marking 70 years of the beloved institution that is the UK's Official Singles Chart", says he. "As ever, the data doesn't lie; this is a collection of indisputable classics spanning over seven decades of Official Chart history, as affirmed by the British public and their playlist selections".
Meanwhile, Robert Gallacher, Commissioning Editor for BBC Radio Pop Networks, adds: "We're delighted to mark the 70th anniversary of the Official Singles Chart - a record not just of our favourite tunes, but also our shared cultural history. With the release of this new chart it's particularly fascinating to see which classic songs from the past are rated by today's music consumers, and how that appeal can be driven by exposure on TV, adverts and social media. This chart is a true testament to the timelessness of brilliant pop music".
If you can't wait for these programmes to all air later this month you can actually listen to them now via BBC Sounds. Or, if you prefer reading charts to hearing them, here they are as lists...
Most Streamed Chart: 1950s
Most Streamed Chart: 1960s
Most Streamed Chart: 1970s
Most Streamed Chart: 1980s
Most Streamed Chart: 1990s
Most Streamed Chart: 2000s
Most Streamed Chart: 2010s
Universal Music Publishing has expanded its relationship with the Irving Berlin estate and will now represent its catalogue worldwide. That catalogue includes songs like 'White Christmas', 'Let's Face The Music And Dance', 'Puttin On The Ritz' and 'There's No Business Like Show Business'. "I've been in the music publishing business my entire working life", says President of UMPG North America, Evan Lamberg. "It doesn't get any better than UMPG having the honour of representing the timeless cultural songs of Irving Berlin, as well as working with the wonderful Irving Berlin family and estate".
Classical music company Naxos Music Group has announced a new partnership with Downtown-owned music distributor FUGA covering releases on its various labels. "FUGA's established commitment to music and technology aligns with our vision to provide the best possible service to our labels", says Naxos Digital Services CEO Håkan Lagerqvist. "Together with our classical music expertise and deep catalogue, this new partnership will amplify the global presence of classical music and raise the standard for its discoverability throughout the digital ecosystem".
Solo Music Agency has appointed Jonathan Lomax as its new Managing Director, he having most recently been with PR firm Blakeney, which supported live industry trade group LIVE on its campaigning during the pandemic. "It was one of the privileges of my career to support the live music industry during the pandemic, when I met the most interesting and committed people. Despite everyone telling me that I was mad, I was determined to work in the industry permanently and I am THRILLED that [company founders] John and Caroline [Giddings] have taken me into the Solo family".
Artist management company YMU has appointed Sophia Margerison to the position of Global Business Development Director. "I'm really excited to be joining the very talented and dynamic team at YMU", she says. "Working in this global role will allow me to work across the whole business to help create new opportunities and expand the amazing roster of artists the company represents".
Indie label digital rights group Merlin has named Adam Wright as its new Chief Financial Officer. He joins from talent agency CAA, where he was Director Of Finance. "I'm delighted to take on the role of CFO at Merlin", he says. "It's such a dynamic time for the Merlin organisation and the industry as a whole - I'm very excited to have this opportunity to come back to the independent sector where my music industry career first began".
Ed Sheeran has confirmed that he will release a new album next year. In a video on Instagram noting that his song 'Shivers' has passed one billion plays on Spotify, he said: "I'm going to celebrate by shooting a music video for my brand new album, which is out next year".
Just thought you'd like to know that Everything But The Girl have made a new album. It'll be out next spring. In a statement on Twitter, the duo said: "Just thought you'd like to know that we have made a new Everything But The Girl album. It'll be out next spring".
Trivium frontman Matt Heafy - under the name Kiichi Chaos - has teamed up with Nuclear Blast Records and esports organisation Team Vitality to release new track 'Metality (The Vitality Anthem)'. "Metal and gaming are two constants in my life that I hold near and dear", he says. "I've always found that gaming and metal go so well together... it's as if they belong together".
Yves Tumor has released new single 'God Is A Circle'.
Yo La Tengo have announced that they will release their new album, 'This Stupid World', on 10 Feb. Here's new single 'Fallout'. The band have also announced UK shows in April next year.
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Mount Kimbie art installation blows away in high winds
The pyramid of four large silver balls - titled 'Four World Set' - was erected in St Giles Square and was due to be on display until Saturday, but was last seen rolling down Tottenham Court Road. So, a bit like that scene from 'Fight Club', but with less wanton destruction.
In a post on Instagram, Mount Kimbie's Kai Campos said: "Heartbroken to report that the extreme winds in London last night took down Tom's beautiful 'Four World Set'".
"Seeing it completed on Sunday night was one of the most exciting things I've been involved with", he went on. "The fact that it was so out in the open and public was one of the best parts of the work and when seeing the joy and intrigue it brought to everyone who walked through the square. It felt like it had a life of it's own and one that was just getting started. I'm absolutely gutted that more people won't get to see it this week".
"[I'm] trying to take the positives from the experience and I will certainly always remember the feeling there on Sunday night", he continued. "I'm really glad I went down to see it last night as well, was really great and people were still approaching it even as the rain came down. We of course had prepared for bad weather and strong winds but just got really unlucky last night. It was amazing, but too brief".
They should have just said that having it blow away was the plan all along and it was supposed to be a bit like that scene from 'Fight Club' but with less wanton destruction.