|MONDAY 13 MARCH 2023||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: South Korean music company Hybe has confirmed that it is bailing on its bid to acquire a controlling stake in rival K-pop powerhouse SM Entertainment. The decision seemingly follows a meeting on Friday attended by key execs from both Hybe and SM, as well as Kakao, the internet firm which is also buying up SM shares... [READ MORE]|
Hybe confirms it has abandoned its bid to control rival SM Entertainment
Kakao - which has its own entertainment division and also operates streaming service Melon - originally agreed a deal with the SM management team to buy newly issued shares in that business. But that proposal was opposed by SM's founder and until recently biggest shareholder Lee Soo-man.
He went legal in a bid to block the issuing of any new SM shares while also bringing Hybe into the mix. He confirmed that if SM was to form any alliance with a competitor, he'd prefer it to be Hybe rather than Kakao. To that end he sold most of his SM shares to Hybe, which then also announced a plan to increase its SM shareholding to 40%.
The grand plan conceived by Lee and Hybe seem to be gaining momentum when, earlier this month, the courts in South Korea sided with the SM founder and blocked the issuing of any new SM shares. The original deal between SM management and Kakao was then called off.
However, shortly after that Kakao announced that - like Hybe - it was now interested in buying stock from other existing SM shareholders. And Kakao was offering a share purchase price higher than that offered by Hybe.
Analysts predicted that Hybe wouldn't want to - and couldn't afford to - enter into a price war with Kakao. And this weekend that was basically confirmed, with Hybe stating that it was "halting the acquisition process for SM Entertainment" because Kakao's rival bid had pushed the the acquisition price "above the appropriate range".
According to the Korea JoongAng Daily, following last week's meeting, Hybe will get some kind of "platform deal" with SM, though the specifics of that are not known. Hybe also seemingly hasn't yet decided what to do with the SM shares it recently acquired, it currently owning 15.78% of the company. It might sell those shares to Kakao or may retain its interest in the rival firm.
The Rolling Stones accused of song theft over 2020 track Living In A Ghost Town
When released in April 2020, 'Living In A Ghost Town' was the first new music from the Stones in four years, and their first original song since 2012. It was initially recorded the previous year, but Jagger amended the lyrics in early 2020 as the COVID pandemic started to surge, changing the words to reference the lockdowns.
Talking about the track at the time, Jagger told Apple Music: "Keith Richards and I both had the idea that we should release it. But I said, 'Well, I've got to rewrite it'. Some of it is not going to work and some of it was a bit weird and a bit too dark".
According to this new lawsuit filed with the US courts by musician Sergio Garcia Fernandez, not only did 'Living In A Ghost Town' contain lockdown themes, it also included "recognisable and key protected elements" from his 2006 song 'So Sorry' and his 2007 release 'Seed Of God'".
More specifically, the Stones song allegedly lifted "vocal melodies, the chord progressions, the drum beat patterns, the harmonica parts, the electric bass line parts, the tempos, and other key signatures" from 'So Sorry' and the "harmonic and chord progression and melody" from 'Seed Of God'.
As for how Jagger and Richards might have been able to hear Fernandez's little known songs, according to Billboard his lawsuit claims that he gave a demo CD to "an immediate family member" of the Stones frontman.
"The immediate family member ... confirmed receipt ... to the plaintiff via email", the legal filing claims, "and expressed that the musical works of the plaintiff and its style was a sound The Rolling Stones would be interested in using".
As with most song theft lawsuits of this kind, the legal claim seems somewhat optimistic, but we shall see. The Stones are yet to respond to Fernandez's litigation.
Salt acquires Session, announces BumaStemra deal
"Salt and Session are two indispensable links in the chain that will achieve fair compensation and transparency for creators and rightsholders", says Ulvaeus. "I am delighted to join the board of Salt and to work with this prestigious team to bring the transparency and accuracy to the industry that we have all waited so long to achieve".
Session - which began life as Auddly - is an app that partly helps collaborating artists and songwriters manage their collaborations, but also makes it easier for those music-makers to agree copyright ownership splits, and then collate and submit all the relevant rights data that is required to ensure they get credited and paid when their music is played.
As for Salt, its main service is - according to the official blurb - "a back-office software-as-a-service product for the music industry" which "leverages deep domain knowledge and unrivalled cloud-computing technology expertise to deliver next-generation, global music royalty collection services for rightsholders".
The company was co-founded by Phil Sant and Doug Imrie, who have both worked with Session for some time, it having had an alliance with another company they co-founded, Stage Enterprises. Alongside the announcement of the Session acquisition, Salt also confirmed it had signed a ten year agreement with Dutch collecting society BumaStemra to provide its royalty collection technology.
"BumaStemra's ambition is to be at the forefront of modern music royalty collections and to provide our members with the best possible service", says the society's CEO Bernard Kobes. "The long-term partnership with Salt enables us to achieve that goal and positions our members at the forefront of industry innovation and monetisation".
"Salt's advanced capabilities, designed in collaboration with BumaStemra's experts, allows us to automate and streamline our processes, maximise monetisation, and provide much greater transparency", he goes on. "Our members continuously seek faster, more accurate, more regular and transparent income. Salt enables us to provide exactly that".
Commenting on both the Buma and Session deals from the Salt side, Imrie comments: "We are THRILLED to announce these major deals with BumaStemra and Session. These partnerships will enable Salt to press ahead with innovation and provide our users, and their members, with the most comprehensive and efficient music rights management solution in the market. We look forward to continuing to lead the way in the music industry's long-awaited and inevitable transformation".
Culture minister confirms government monitoring investigations into Brixton Academy crowd crush
Two people died as a result of the crowd crush, which happened during a sell out show by Asake. The venue has been closed ever since, with the local council suspending its licence while London's Metropolitan Police undertake an investigation into the circumstances that led to the incident.
At the time it was stated that the crowd crush began when people without tickets tried to force their way into the building. Although there have since been allegations that there was insufficient staffing at the show and that some security personnel were involved in a fake ticketing scam that would have increased the number of people in the venue.
The incident was raised in Parliament last week by South London MP Florence Eshalomi. Addressing recently appointed Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer, the MP said: "I am sure that the Secretary Of State will be aware of the tragic crush during the O2 Brixton Academy concert on 15 Dec. Rebecca Ikumelo and Gaby Hutchinson sadly lost their lives, and I am sure that the whole House will join me in passing on our condolences to their families".
"Three separate investigations have been launched into the criminal, licensing and security aspects", she went on, "but there is no single authority looking at what happened. I have written to the Secretary Of State and her predecessor. Will she meet me to discuss the government's role in getting full answers for the victims' families and ensuring the safety of similar venues nationally?"
Responding on behalf of Frazer and the government's culture department, Julia Lopez - Minister for Media, Tourism And Creative Industries - said: "I thank the honourable lady for her question. What happened in her constituency was an absolute tragedy and I pass my condolences on to the people affected. We have received her letter, and I am terribly sorry that it has not yet received a response. I was made aware of that only last week".
"I am asking for this to be looked into", she added, "because I appreciate that she has highlighted things that she sees as gaps in the system. But, as she knows, the Met is also investigating this. I will look very carefully to see whether they highlight issues that the government themselves need to consider".
Police have previously described their investigation into the crowd crush as "a vast and complicated process". With that in mind, the coroner overseeing the inquests into the deaths of Ikumelo and Hutchinson said in January: "It seems to me that if this is a complex criminal investigation, this matter is going to take some years".
Own Our Venues scheme urges local councils to support its plan to safeguard the future of grassroots venues
MVT says that the vast majority of grassroots venues "are tenants with the typical operator only having eighteen months left on their tenancy", and that fact "underpins almost every other challenge that grassroots music venues have faced during the last 20 years including gentrification, noise complaints, under-investment, poor economic models, and an inability to plan for the future".
The Own Our Venues initiative - launched last May - is seeking to raise sufficient funds to acquire the freeholds of the buildings used by various grassroots venues around the country, so to "bring them under a protected status of benevolent ownership".
Among the venues that would benefit from the initial phase of the scheme is The Ferret in Preston. It's with that in mind that Preston City Council has provided a £150,000 loan to the initiative.
Confirming that support, Martyn Rawlinson - Deputy Leader of Preston City Council - says: "Live music venues are an important part of our city centre arts scene and, without independent venues like The Ferret, local bands would have nowhere to go to get the experience they need, playing in front of a live audience".
"The Music Venue Trust have done a great job raising the profile of our struggling music venues across the UK", he adds. "We felt that it was important that we did what we could to help support the Ferret's campaign to raise the funds to purchase the building and stop it from being sold for commercial development. We wish the Music Venue Trust and The Ferret the best of luck in securing the funding they need".
Commenting on that development from the Own Our Venues side, the scheme's Ownership Coordinator Matthew Otridge says: "We are delighted that Preston City Council are supporting our efforts to save The Ferret and move it into community ownership".
"Like The Ferret, the grassroots venues we are looking to purchase at this stage are at the forefront of the live music provision in their towns and cities - in fact, some are the only remaining live music venue. It is therefore imperative that other local councils follow Preston City Council's lead and support this campaign in recognition of these vital cultural and community hubs".
The Own Our Venues team say that they have now raised £1.8 million of their £2.5 million target, with plans to start purchasing the first venues next month.
Commenting on its involvement in the scheme, Matt Fawbert, General Manager at The Ferret, confirms that the biggest worry for his venue right now is that "the property is in the hands of a private landlord and they have put the property up for sale. It just shows, you can fight through the pandemic and you can get through all sorts of problems but the landlord could take this away at any point by selling the building. Help us save the Ferret, get involved now, let's own our venues".
Virgin Radio launches new weekend show hosted by a stack of 1980s pop stars
The first host of the new show is actor and vocalist Clare Grogan, who gets the gig as the lead singer of new wave outfit Altered Images. Once she's done, it will be Matt Goss of Bros in the presenting chair, and then Carol Decker of T'Pau fame. And beyond that, well, "more 80s icons" promises the radio station.
Mike Cass, Content Director at Virgin Radio UK, says: "We're excited to launch our guest host series, with the biggest legends sharing their own tales of the 80s. Who better to give us a taste of this great decade than the biggest stars of the time?"
And if you're wondering how Decker is feeling about her upcoming stint on Virgin Radio 80s Plus, well, what do you think? "I'm absolutely THRILLED to join Virgin Radio 80s Plus as a guest host", says she. "Having lived it, I can't wait to take a trip down memory lane and share the fantastic stories and unforgettable tracks from the era".
Tame Impala have released new track 'Wings Of Time', taken from the soundtrack of upcoming movie 'Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves'. "Being asked to do a track for the 'D&D' soundtrack seemed like an unmissable opportunity to indulge in my long time love of fantasy prog rock", says main man Kevin Parker.
Fever Ray has released the video for 'Even It Out', from new album 'Radical Romantics', which came out on Friday. The clip features a cameo from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, who produced the track.
Enter Shikari have released new single 'Bloodshot'. Says frontman Rou Reynolds: "'Bloodshot' is about how hard it is to find truth, and how easy it is to stop thinking for yourself and simply repeat your 'team's' mantras. Everyone's so fucking angry with everyone else and it's exhausting. It seems like social media's main purpose these days is to hypnotise us to hate".
Tebi Rex have released new single 'Imthebest'. "It's a delusional song because we're delusional people", say the duo. "We're artists, that's how we're supposed to be".
The brilliant Caitlin LM has released new single 'Evergreen'. "This track was written on the cusp of autumn, reflecting on how the changing in seasons can have such a visceral internal effect on us", she says. "I find that every year, the shift between seasons has a huge impact on my mood and outlook, and was in awe of how powerful nature is to move us so much. 'Evergreen' is an acknowledgement of how we have to embrace this, and that - no matter how hard we try - humans are no match for the forces of nature".
GIGS & TOURS
Those Jonas Brothers will play the Royal Albert Hall in London on 14 Apr. Tickets go on general sale on 17 Mar. Their new album 'The Album' is out on 12 May.
Alice Longyu Gao has announced UK shows in May, playing The Grace in London on 9 May and The Great Escape festival in Brighton on 12 May. She's also released the video for 'Come 2 Brazil' from her new EP 'Let's Hope Heteros Fail, Learn, And Retire'.
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Flea interviews Iggy Pop in new short documentary
The wide-ranging conversation covers everything from Pop's first forays into songwriting and the forming of the Stooges to how he likes to get himself up in the morning. The trick, if you're wondering, is to force yourself into being in a good mood.
"If you're not in a good mood - fool yourself, motherfucker", he says. "Don't get down, don't let yourself get down".
Also covered is how The Stooges influenced Flea himself, while Pop talks about how one early Stooges song was influenced by Ravel's 'Bolero'. A song where Pop would "sing about being sick". Going further, he discusses how always listening to all kinds of music has helped him to have such a long career.
He explains: "I like to be around music. I just have an enthusiasm for any kind of nice piece of music I hear that's really good. I've always been amazed by Dionne Warwick doing Bacharach. You know, I hear that and [think] 'woah'. That really helped me keep going, because I wasn't just stuck into one thing".
He also discusses working with producer Andrew Wyatt on 'Every Loser', saying: "Andrew's a great producer and he's a musician type of producer - a very, very gifted musician … within five minutes [of our first conversation starting] he's asking me very, very personal questions about my entire career. You know, 'how did you feel when so-and-so did this to you?' … And then what he said was, 'what I wanna know is are you ready?'"
From his side, Wyatt explains: "I can't help myself, I'm unapologetically a fan … Maybe a little too early I just started asking him questions and he started answering them. [Then] it just occurred to me, 'how about I make you some tracks, would you like that?' And he was like, 'Sure!' He was into it".
'Every Loser' is out now. Watch the full 26 minute film here.