FRIDAY 26 JANUARY 2018 COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Nelly has been accused of two further instances of sexual assault in a new legal filing, which updates litigation originally launched against him last year... [READ MORE]
Available to premium subscribers, CMU Trends digs deeper into the inner workings of the music business, explaining how things work and reviewing all the recent trends.
   
REVIEWING THE SALES V LICENCE DEBATE
It's four years now since CMU Trends last looked in on the sales v licence debate. But a new lawsuit filed by Enrique Iglesias against Universal Music is set to pose the question anew, this time very much from a streaming perspective. With that in mind, CMU Trends reviews the debate to date and what might happen next. [READ MORE]
   
AGENT OF CHANGE - THE STORY SO FAR
The UK government has announced that it will add the so called 'agent of change' principle into the framework which local authorities must follow when considering planning applications by property developers. With that announcement made, CMU Trends reviews what agent of change is all about and how we got to this point. [READ MORE]
   
FIVE CONTENDERS FOR MUSIC'S ENEMY NUMBER ONE - UPDATE!
A year ago, CMU Trends identified five contenders for enemy number one of the music industry. This week we review what has happened in the subsequent twelve months, and ask whether relations between the music community and its potential enemies improved or worsened in 2017. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Two further women accuse Nelly of sexual assault
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LEGAL EU to launch its own version of the piracy-focused Notorious Markets list
Russell Simmons sued over rape allegations
READ IN THIS EMAIL | READ ON THE WEBSITE
DEALS Sasha signs to Minds On Fire
Sony expands alliance with Cuban music firm to cover publishing
READ IN THIS EMAIL | READ ON THE WEBSITE
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Alcopop Record launches J-pop imprint, signs Maison Book Girl
READ IN THIS EMAIL | READ ON THE WEBSITE
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Gracenote partners with YG Plus to improve K-pop metadata
READ IN THIS EMAIL | READ ON THE WEBSITE
MEDIA Comedy to return to Radio 1
READ IN THIS EMAIL | READ ON THE WEBSITE
ONE LINERS Dua Lipa, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, more
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AND FINALLY... Beef Of The Week #388: Some Smiths v An Orchestra
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Check out all the latest job opportunities with CMU Jobs. To advertise your job opportunities here email advertising@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or call 020 7099 0906.
   
THE MUSIC ROYALTY COMPANY - ROYALTIES ASSISTANT (LONDON)
The Music Royalty Company provides financial and administrative services to many record labels, distributors, publishers and recording artists. We require a dedicated Royalties Assistant eager to progress their career alongside other talented people.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
[PIAS] - IN-HOUSE LAWYER (LONDON)
This is an exciting and broad in-house lawyer role within the music industry. Working within a team of four, you'll share responsibility for all legal areas of the [PIAS] business including: [PIAS]'s own Play It Again Sam and Different labels, [PIAS]'s roster of partner labels and its UK distribution business.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
MANCHESTER STUDENTS' UNION - TECHNICAL MANAGER (MANCHESTER)
The University of Manchester Students’ Union and Manchester Academy are looking for an experienced technical manager, with knowledge of everything important to make our events shine. You will be expected to have a keen eye for detail to enable first class delivery that involves working with a wide range of stakeholders.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
FIRE RECORDS - WAREHOUSE/SALES & DISTRIBUTION ASSISTANT (LONDON)
Fire Records is seeking an enthusiastic and hard-working entry level warehouse and sales assistant to maintain the smooth running of the warehouse, maintain and build relationships with distributers and customers, prepare stock for tours and events and assist in the increasing of sales.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
[PIAS] - SYNC & BRAND MANAGER (LONDON)
[PIAS] is seeking someone to maximise sync and brand partnership income by optimising opportunities to place repertoire and artists in TV show, advertisements, games, film, live brand events, brand partnerships and offering creative input to campaigns.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
BALLANTYNE COMMUNICATIONS - MUSIC PR & COMMUNICATIONS CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
Here at BC HQ we are going through a period of growth and are looking to find a highly motivated and passionate person to join the team and to play a key role in our PR work.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
SOLAR MANAGEMENT - ACCOUNTS MANAGER (LONDON)
Busy London based artist and producer management company Solar requires an Accounts/Finance Manager.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
KOBALT MUSIC GROUP - SENIOR CREATIVE SYNCHRONISATION MANAGER (LONDON)
Kobalt has a unique opportunity to be an integral part of Kobalt’s quickly growing, London-based sync team, working with a diverse catalogue and a passionate team dedicated to our commitment to bring transparency and the highest possible level of service to our clients.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
SNAPPER MUSIC - ACCOUNTS ASSISTANT AND ADMINISTRATION (LONDON)
Snapper Music is an Accounts Assistant. This role is an ideal position for a school leaver looking for a career in the music industry.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
LIVE NATION UK - SOCIAL AND CONTENT MANAGER (LONDON)
Live Nation UK's Social and Content Manager is responsible for managing and building the LN UK social channels and LNTV publishing platform. You will also support the shared team goal to grow reach, engagement and first party data.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
IDOL - HEAD OF DISTRIBUTION (PARIS)
To keep abreast with the current business and technological expansion, IDOL is creating this position. The main purpose of this role is to manage, co-ordinate and optimise IDOL’s core activity.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT FESTIVALS - MEMBERSHIP & PROJECTS CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
The Association Of Independent Festivals is looking for a new Membership and Project Co-ordinator to assist the General Manager of AIF with the day-to-day organisation and administration of the association.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
THRILL JOCKEY RECORDS - DIRECTOR OF MARKETING & PROMOTIONS, EUROPE (LONDON)
Thrill Jockey Records is seeking an experienced person for Director of Marketing and Promotions for Europe to be based out of our East London office.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
PROPER MUSIC - ROYALTY ADMINISTRATOR (DARTFORD)
Working as part of the overall Finance and Business Affairs team, reporting to the Head of Department, the successful candidate will oversee royalty processes and reporting for all group companies.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
WARP RECORDS - INTERNATIONAL MARKETING & PROMOTIONS CO-ORDINATOR (LONDON)
Warp Records is looking for an energetic and enthusiastic individual to join its international team based in London. Your role will be to help us deliver great campaigns for our artists internationally.

For more information and to apply click here.
   
INVOLVED GROUP - ROYALTY & ACCOUNTS ASSISTANT MANAGER (LONDON)
Owned and managed by global DJ trio Above & Beyond and James Grant, Involved Group is looking for an experienced Royalty & Accounts Assistant Manager to join our busy and growing Finance Team.

For more information and to apply click here.
CMU Insights provides training and consultancy to music companies and companies working with music. Find out about our seminars, masterclasses and primers here...
   
CMU SEMINARS: MAKING MONEY FROM MUSIC COPYRIGHT
Mondays 5, 12, 19 Feb 2018 at 6.30pm in London
These three CMU Insights seminars together provide a user-friendly guide to how music copyright works and how music rights make money. You can book into each individual session at £49.99 per seminar or you can book a place on all three at the special price of £125. CLICK HERE FOR INFO.
   
CMU SEMINARS: BUILDING A FANBASE AND FAN BUSINESS
Mondays 26 Feb, 5, 12 Mar 2018 at 6.30pm in London
These three CMU Insights seminars together provide an overview of how to build a fanbase for new artists and new music. They also look at how artists can use these channels to build a direct-fo-fan business. You can book into each individual session at £49.99 per seminar or you can book a place on all three at the special price of £125. CLICK HERE FOR INFO.
   
CMU PRIMER: KEY MUSIC BUSINESS TRENDS 2018
These are courses we can run in-house at your company
As we head into 2018, CMU Insights is now offering music companies a special two-hour primer session reviewing five key areas of the music business, summarising important developments from the last twelve months and looking at the challenges that lie ahead in the next year. Including: the streaming business, piracy, safe harbour, ticketing and data. CLICK HERE FOR INFO.

Two further women accuse Nelly of sexual assault
Nelly has been accused of two further instances of sexual assault in a new legal filing, which updates litigation originally launched against him last year.

Monique Greene countersued Nelly last month after he initially sued her for defamation. The defamation action related to Greene's allegations that he had raped her on his tour bus back in October last year. He went legal after she declined to participate in a criminal investigation into the rape allegations.

In her updated lawsuit, Greene details accusations made by two more women, which she claims prove that the rapper has "a distinctive modus operandi, to use his status as a celebrity musical performer to sexually assault selected women who attend his concerts".

Nelly was arrested on charges of rape after Greene called police in October, having been ejected from his tour bus. She says that she met Nelly at a club in Auburn, Washington where she worked and he was performing. After socialising with him, she and a friend were invited to an "after party", which turned out to be on his tour bus. Once on board, Greene says that Nelly took her to his bedroom at the back of the bus, began masturbating in front of her, and then raped her.

Her lawsuit then states that, after she got out of Nelly's bedroom, his entourage threw her off the bus, declaring that, because she was in a state of distress, she had become "a problem". Nelly then threw a $100 bill out of the door after her and taunted her from the window. Initially calling an Uber to take her home, when the driver arrived she asked him to wait while she called the police. After interviewing both her and Nelly, he was arrested.

The rapper's lawyer quickly put out statements denying that he had assaulted Greene, claiming that she was making her accusations in pursuit of fame and money. Nelly also issued a statement on Twitter saying that he was "the victim of a false allegation" and that he would "pursue every legal option" to clear his name.

Greene, meanwhile, fully cooperated with the police investigation and, according to her lawsuit, was interviewed by police under the condition of anonymity. However, the following day "the commander of the police department issued a statement to media advising that Ms Greene had met with the police and prosecutor the day before".

Already identified as the alleged victim by people who had seen her leave the club with Nelly, she says that this opened her up to a barrage of attacks online. Although the police subsequently issued an apology for breaching her confidentiality, this is seemingly why she pulled out of the investigation, her lawyer stating that she felt that "the system was going to fail her".

Although she seemingly then hoped to put the whole matter behind her, Nelly quickly sued for defamation. She responded with her own defamation suit, accusing Nelly and his lawyer of making false statements about her, which amounted to bullying a witness.

In the newly amended version of those legal papers, she now includes accounts of two other alleged incidents involving Nelly assaulting women. The women are not named, but both incidents took place in the UK. One at the Cliffs Pavilion in Southend and the other - according to The Guardian - at Koko in London, although the lawsuit does not specifically state this.

The alleged assault in London was against an American soldier based in the UK. After a meet and greet, it is claimed, he invited her and a friend back to his dressing room. After spending time together, he then invited them to an "after party". It then became apparent that he expected to have sex with the woman, even though they had already been discussing the fact that she was married. He then put his hand up her skirt, at which point she grabbed his hand and pulled it away.

He again asked her to join him at the after party and offered to pay for her train fare the next day. She attempted to leave the room, but he closed the door. At this point, say the legal papers, his security arrived to see what was happening and the woman and her friend left.

The second alleged assault in Essex also took place after the woman in question attended a meet and greet event after the show with a group of friends. After talking for a while, Nelly invited her to an after party. She declined, but he then invited her to his dressing room. Once inside, he allegedly blocked the exit, dropped his trousers and began masturbating, saying "you want this dick, don't you?'

The woman told him that she was not interested, attempting to diffuse the situation by explaining that she had a husband and three children. Nelly protested and attempted to undress her. After various attempts to evade his advances, it is claimed that she told him to "pull your trousers back up and fuck off".

At this point, she says that the rapper's demeanour changed and he clenched his fist. She asked if he was going to hit her, to which he responded, "no, I'm just frustrated. I'm not used to not getting my way. Just do it". He then allegedly grabbed her head and forced his erect penis into her mouth. She managed to break away from him and get out of the room, with him shouting "cunt" after her.

Returning to her friends, she says that she was in too much shock to speak. Nelly then caught up to her and threatened, "I will find you". She says she believes the assault would have continued further had she not managed to return to her friends. She also says that she considered going to the police, but felt that she would not have been believed.

The lawsuit states that the three accusations made against Nelly show a pattern of actions, in which he selects a female fan at a show, divides her from her friends and then often begins masturbating in front of her before assaulting her. Photographic evidence is also provided to show that the women had been with Nelly before their alleged assaults.

Greene is seeking damages for "personal damage, emotional trauma, humiliation, loss of reputation and loss of enjoyment of life". She adds that she has lost earnings due to being barred from entering the club where she met Nelly and at least one other club in the area. She also temporarily dropped out of university due to the trauma, losing already paid tuition fees.

As well as this, she is requesting a specific injunction against "Nelly (and his penis)", prohibiting him from sexually assaulting female fans after concerts. There is already a legal imperative to this effect, of course, under the criminal law. Although such an injunction may aid future civil action if he did not adhere to it.

Nelly has not yet responded to the new accusations.

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EU to launch its own version of the piracy-focused Notorious Markets list
Good news for fans of lists of piracy websites! Who doesn't love a good list of piracy websites? Everyone loves a good list of piracy websites. Got a loved one with a birthday coming up? Give them a list of piracy websites as a present and just watch how they respond. Good times.

Very soon there'll be a brand new list of piracy websites to gift to friends and family. The European Union has announced plans to follow the American government in maintaining a regularly updated list of the websites around the world that most piss of copyright owners like record companies and music publishers.

The US government has been putting out its annual Notorious Markets list of intellectual property infringing websites for a while now. American copyright owners are invited to nominate sites for inclusion, some of which make it into the final document. Published by the office of the United States Trade Representative, the Notorious Markets report is mainly aimed at other governments around the world to help them "prioritise intellectual property rights enforcement efforts that protect American businesses and their workers".

In the most recent edition, the music industry's current top piracy gripe - streaming ripping - got a nice mention, while old favourite The Pirate Bay was also officially dissed once again. Elsewhere there was criticism for Russian social media firm vKontakte, even though it is now in business with the music industry, because Hollywood is still annoyed at all the movies that get shared across the social network.

In a statement earlier this week, the EU said that its new list will aim to "identify the marketplaces outside the EU where counterfeiting, piracy or other forms of intellectual property abuse are common practice".

It added that "based on stakeholders' input, the future watch list will help to raise awareness of consumers that might be buying products in those marketplaces, and encourage their operators and owners to crack down on intellectual property abuse".

Though, as with the Notorious Markets report, other governments are also a target audience. The EU added: "The Commission will also monitor the measures taken by local authorities to reduce the availability of goods and services infringing intellectual property rights in identified markets".

Providing the rationale for the project, the EU's statement then noted how "intellectual property infringement is a particular scourge on European industry and hampers investment and employment in industries reliant on creativity and innovation".

Copyright owners are invited to make submissions to the new piracy list project by the end of March. It will be interesting to see which sites and services they target, and in particular whether any of them are based in the US. Because of the international focus on the Notorious Markets list, the American anti-piracy document doesn't deal with those copyright infringing operations in its own country.

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Russell Simmons sued over rape allegations
Hip hop mogul Russell Simmons is now facing legal action in relation to an allegation of rape. The lawsuit follows newspaper articles late last year in which a number of women alleged past sexual misconduct by the Def Jam co-founder.

The lawsuit has been filed by filmmaker Jennifer Jarosik, who claims that Simmons assaulted her at his home in LA after she met him there to discuss a documentary she was working on. According to The Blast, the lawsuit claims Simmons initially asked to have sex with Jarosik, but after she refused he became aggressive, pushed her onto his bed and proceeded to rape her.

The legal filing also claims that Simmons "historically thrived on the sexual exploitation of young women trying to break into the entertainment and music industry, in which young female artists are falsely promised opportunities and advancement by experienced and well-established men in power in the industry".

Jarosik says that although she told some close friends about the incident at the time, she never took any formal action because she "felt somehow it was partially her fault since she was not strong enough to resist". However, she was motivated to go public about the alleged attack following the other accusations made against Simmons last year.

He continues to deny all the allegations made against him. Responding to the new lawsuit, he told reporters: "I look forward to having my day in court, where, unlike the court of public opinion, I will have the ability to make use of fair processes that ensure that justice will be done and that the full truth will be known".

Last year, when it emerged New York police were investigating some of the allegations that had been made against him, Simmons wrote on Instagram: "I will prove without any doubt that I am innocent of all rape charges. My intention is not to diminish the #MeToo movement in any way, but instead hold my accusers accountable. Again, this is not a movement against or even in conjunction with #MeToo. It's just a statement about my innocence".

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Sasha signs to Minds On Fire
Electronic music-focused publishing company Minds On Fire has signed Sasha to represent his music for sync placements.

"I am excited to be working with Minds On Fire", Sasha tells CMU. "They understand electronic music and are hungry to add value to my catalogue".

Minds On Fire A&R Director James Pitt adds: "Sasha is a dream signing for us. Not only is he producing amazing one-off tracks and outstanding live shows but his album projects have real depth and atmosphere, perfect for film and TV. Now is the time for Sasha as a composer to shine".

Launched in 2011, Minds On Fire's roster also includes Waze & Odyssey, Olubenga, Rob Harvey and Scuba. It also administrates publishing for labels such as Scuba's Hotflush and Herve's Cheap Thrills

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Sony expands alliance with Cuban music firm to cover publishing
Sony has expanded its partnership with Cuban music company EGREM. The Sony Music record company has had an alliance with the Havana-based entity since 2015, and now the Sony/ATV music publishing business has announced an international licensing deal to cover EGREM's songs catalogue.

Confirming the new alliance, EGREM's MD Mario Ángel Escalona Serrano said: "The oldest record company in Cuba is honoured to share the opportunity to develop the joint licensing of our great [songs] catalogue with Sony/ATV Music Publishing. This relationship will expand the promotion and international dissemination of our musical heritage, as well as raise awareness of relevant Cuban authors and composers".

Meanwhile Sony/ATV's President of International, Guy Henderson, added: "It is a great pleasure and privilege for Sony/ATV to represent such a prestigious catalogue. Music is the lifeblood of the Cuban people and as such has produced so many talented artists and songwriters over several decades. Sony/ATV will now be in a position to take these writers and their music to the world, exposing the sounds of Cuba to new markets and providing fresh opportunities to EGREM and its quality roster of songwriters".

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Alcopop Record launches J-pop imprint, signs Maison Book Girl
UK indie label Alcopop Records has launched a new J-pop offshoot called Read The Air Records, in collaboration with Japanese independent Vinyl Junkie. The first signing to the new imprint is girl group Maison Book Girl.

Alcopop boss Jack Clothier says of the new venture: "I've long been excited about the music coming out of Japan and in love with the culture emanating from the region, so when Vinyl Junkie, our favourite label over there, told us they wanted to work together, it seemed like a wonderful opportunity. This label will be solely concerned with highlighting some of the wonderful music coming from Tokyo, Yokohoma, Osaka and beyond. It's that simple really!"

Formed in 2014 by former Brand New Idol Society member Megumi Koshouji, Maison Book Girl released their second album, 'Image', in Japan last year. Taken from that album, their first UK single - 'Karma' - is set for release through Read The Air on seven-inch in May.

Watch the video for 'Karma' here.

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Gracenote partners with YG Plus to improve K-pop metadata
Music data firm Gracenote has partnered with South Korean music company YG Plus to provide data to digital music services that will make K-pop easer to discover globally.

K-pop has grown in popularity outside South Korea in recent years, of course, particularly in the US, and also in the UK. As Gracenote launches a new office in Seoul, it will apply its machine learning algorithms to build a database of descriptive metadata, aiming to better promote the South Korean pop music internationally.

"As a genre, K-pop has transcended Korea and hit the mainstream", says YG Plus director Dong Hun Lee. "In order to capitalise on its global popularity, it is critical that we leverage rich descriptive data about the music to help surface K-pop songs in playlists globally. By working with Gracenote we will be able to help drive discovery of K-pop to millions of existing fans and cultivate millions more around the world".

Gracenote's General Manager For Music, Brian Hamilton adds: "As the leading distributor of K-pop, YG Plus will help Gracenote strengthen our Korean data coverage which, in turn enables us to deliver the most comprehensive K-pop solution to streaming music customers across the globe. As the database of record for the music industry, Gracenote Global Music Data will also help regional Korean streaming music providers prepare for broader digital music adoption and deliver improved listener experiences centred on smart playlisting and personalised recommendations".

Among the descriptors Gracenote will seek out are genre, mood, era, origin, tempo and artist language. It will also track associations between different acts, improving search across an artists' main releases, collaborations, remixes and live recordings.

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Comedy to return to Radio 1
Listening to the likes of Lee & Herring, Chris Morris and Armando Iannucci on Radio 1 was pretty formative for me as a thirteen year old, so I'm pleased to hear that the BBC youth station is bringing comedy back to its schedule. And in the popular 3am-4am slot too.

A total of nine different series are set to go out over the course of this year, starting next month. Among the comedians commissioned to create shows are Ed Night and Lauren Pattison, YouTuber Riyadh Khalaf, 'Beef And Dairy Network'* creator Ben Partridge, Jen Wakefield, and sketch group Birthday Girls.

As well as being broadcast in their unsociable FM slot, the shows will also be available as podcasts and on the BBC Radio iPlayer app.

Radio 1 Controller Ben Cooper says: "I grew up listening to 'Blue Jam' and 'The Mary Whitehouse Experience' on Radio 1, so it's great to be able to give a new generation of young comedians an opportunity to make us laugh on a podcast from the BBC".

The first show to air will be 'Ed And Lauren Get It On', which will run for twelve episodes from 7 Feb. Each week they'll look at a different reason why being an adult is utterly rubbish.

Says Pattison: "I am THRILLED to be given the opportunity to bring a fresh and fierce voice to Radio 1 alongside my soon-to-be-partner in crime Ed. It's a great chance for me to not only have some fun and maybe cause some light chaos, but to delve into some hot topics and burning issues in a way that's brutally honest, opinionated and most importantly from the perspective of a young working class scamp like myself".

Next up, 'Niki & Sammay's Peachy Podcast' will be on the air from 22 Feb, and Ben Patridge's** 'Ray Moss: No Stone Unturned' will be on in the middle of the night from 30 Mar. Each episode of the shows will be available as a podcast on the Monday of the week they air on the radio.

You can't currently subscribe to any of these podcasts though, so don't even bother looking.

*If you're not already listening to the 'Beef And Dairy Network Podcast', you really should sort that out.

**Seriously, it's so weird and funny. I love it.

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Vigsy's Club Tip: Roy Davis Jr at The Jazz Cafe
Another favourite to emerge from the 1990s Chicago house scene, Roy Davis Jr plays The Jazz Cafe this evening, with support from Dom Servini of Wah Wah 45s.

Influenced by the likes of Lil Louis and DJ Pierre, Davis Jr enjoyed chart success in the UK way back in 1997 via his breakout track 'Gabriel', which remains a definite anthem all these years on. Plenty of other releases have followed since, of course, both on his own label and via an alliance with XL Recordings.

A multiple sclerosis diagnosis in 2016 hasn't stopped Davis Jr from both recording and performing, and it's great to see him back in London to play this top little venue.

Friday 26 Jan, The Jazz Cafe, 5 Parkway, London, NW1 7PG, 10.30pm-3am, £15. More info here.

Dua Lipa, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Pedro The Lion have signed to Polyvinyl to release their next album. "I am so THRILLED to be working with them", says the band's David Bazan.

• Guitarist and YouTuber Sarah Longfield has signed to Season Of Mist to release her next album. Label boss Michael Berberian says the deal came about after he saw one of her videos by accident: "My jaw dropped! Once the first surprise passed, my mind was reeling. Somebody who is playing on such a level at this age is called a 'lifer' and in it for the long run".

• Dua Lipa is now using her face, ability to walk and completely lifeless music to hawk Adidas clobber.

• Justin Timberlake's releasing a lot of new songs at the moment. I hope he's not planning to release another double album. Anyway, here's 'Say Something'.

• Lady Gaga has released a new piano version of her song 'Joanne'.

• Lil Wayne has released another new track from his upcoming 'Dedication 6 Reloaded' mixtape. Here's 'Bloody Mary', featuring Juelz Santana.

• A$AP Rocky has released his second new track of the week too. Here's 'Above'.

• James Blake has flapped out a new single, 'If The Car Beside You Moves Ahead'.

• Kali Uchis has released the video for new single, 'After The Storm'.

• With their new album, 'Catharsis', out today, Machine Head have released another single from it, 'Volatile'.

• The nominees for this year's Nordic Music Prize have been announced. They are Alva Islandia, Astrid Swan, Björk, Fever Ray, Högni, Katinka, Kaukolampi, Kim Myhr, Mwuana, Solbrud, Susanne Sundfør and Yung Lean. The overall winner will be announced at By:larm on 1 Mar.

• Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.

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Beef Of The Week #388: Some Smiths v An Orchestra
Some things are too easy to mock. Some things are so easy to mock that you mock them even though you don't really want to. I mean, creatively speaking, there are definitely merits in partnering up the rhythm section of a classic band with an orchestra. But when they go big on the "reunion" thing, even though the project centres on the two less well known members of the classic band - and a guy who joined them for a few months in the mid-80s - well, there are jokes that it would be a shame to waste.

And so, when images emblazoned "Rourke. Joyce. Gannon" started to be shared online last weekend, it was too easy to smirk. A better starting point might have been to just announce the show itself in one go, without the build up teaser. Even better than that would have been to make absolutely sure that Andy Rourke was indeed planning to take part.

I'm getting ahead of myself a bit, but I'm sure you already know what I'm talking about. On Monday morning, it was announced that Smiths bassist Andy Rourke, drummer Mike Joyce and guitarist Craig Gannon (the latter being the one who was only a member of the band for a matter of months) would appear as part of a new show featuring orchestral versions of Smiths songs, under the name Classically Smiths.

The orchestra in question was the Manchester Camerata Orchestra, which is probably best known for its Hacienda Classical show. That too had an official endorsement, by way of the involvement of Hacienda DJs Graeme Park and Mike Pickering.

Shows like this have been growing in popularity in recent years, and while the involvement of someone with an actual connection to the music being reinventing is by no means a requirement, such alliances probably help garner interest. Also, since Pete Tong got in on the action with his Ibiza Classics show, it's possible that expectations for these events have been raised - ie nostalgia only works if someone notable who was there first time round is on board.

Anyway, despite the urge to make fun of it all, as I say, I think that having the rhythm section of The Smiths performing while an orchestra handles the melodic side does sort of make sense. And if Morrissey and Johnny Marr were there (unlikely, I know, but if they were) it would be a very different kind of show.

All three of the band members involved with Classically Smiths were quoted in a press release for the concerts, Rourke apparently saying that he was "THRILLED" about it all. Unfortunately, no one seems to have told Rourke that that was how he was feeling, because another statement was quickly issued by him directly saying otherwise.

"I am deeply saddened that during the week of the death of my dear friend Dolores O'Riordan, that false statements are made on my behalf", he wrote. "At no time did I give my consent for anyone in connection with this Classically Smiths project to act on my behalf or my name and nothing was ever confirmed, approved or contracted by me or my team".

A rep for the bassist also told Pitchfork: "Andy Rourke was never officially confirmed to take part in, license or authorise the use of his name for the Classically Smiths concert. The production company had hoped Andy Rourke would be a part of the project, but at no time was it approved by Andy Rourke or his team".

Despite these firm statements, there does seems to be some confusion over whether or not Rourke ever actually agreed to be involved. But we may never truly know what was or was not agreed behind the scenes. Maybe it doesn't matter. Whatever, with Rourke out, Mike Joyce quickly announced his departure from the project too.

"It is with much regret that I have to announce that I will not be taking part in the show Classically Smiths", he said. "I entered into agreement in good faith to perform these shows with the production company and Craig Gannon. Andy was asked originally but I wasn't informed that he had passed on this project. Unfortunately it became apparent that Andy would not be taking part and was never a part of this".

So, as far as Joyce is concerned, Rourke had indeed never been a part of the project, but he himself only discovered this fact just as the shows were due to be announced.

He went on: "I agreed with Andy that I would take part in the press conference and inform people that he would not be taking part. Unfortunately on the morning of the press conference I was informed I would not be able to say this. I therefore agreed to take part in the press interviews but did so without discussing Andy's participation in the venture at any point during all TV, radio and print interviews".

With Rourke's quote still included in the press release on Monday, this suggests that the production company behind the show - the slightly ironically named Bad Productions - was hoping to talk him round. Something, it's now clear, Rourke was not amenable to.

Therefore, Joyce continued: "After much deliberation and soul searching I have decided that without Andy, an integral part of why I agreed to take part in the first place, I have come to this difficult decision. I still believe the shows and concept to be a fantastic idea and wish them all the success they deserve".

So, there you go. Two of the three out, but the show's very much still on. At least briefly. Until Gannon also announced his departure in a now deleted statement on Facebook. He - at least at that point - seemed to be convinced that Rourke had been on board for the project, before bailing late in the day.

"Five months ago myself, Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke all agreed to be a part of this project as the core three which was why it all went ahead", he said. "Unfortunately Andy pulled out at the very last minute".

He too confirmed that he and Joyce had been told not to mention Rourke's lack of involvement at the press conference, saying that "the last thing we wanted was to mislead anyone".

Concluding, he said: "This is disappointing as we were all really excited about putting on these shows. I for one have been working solidly on this project for the last five months and it's a shame that it's fallen apart in this way".

Really, the key part of an orchestral show is the orchestra, so you'd think it could all have still gone ahead. Particularly as it clearly still had the endorsement of Joyce and Gannon. Although, I suppose, it having based its promotion heavily on their involvement (however briefly), the sudden lack of any Smiths on stage would possibly taint the show.

Whatever, by Tuesday teatime an email had arrived from Bad Productions' Joel Perry confirming that all the concerts were off. It really is quite impressive for a show to collapse so spectacularly within 36 hours of being announced.

In its own statement, the Manchester Camerata Orchestra said: "As a Manchester orchestra, we were naturally delighted to be asked to take part in the Classically Smiths shows this summer. We were not involved in the contractual discussions between the production company and former members of The Smiths, so we're as disappointed as the fans to find out that the shows will not be taking place".

So there you go. Remarkably, all this still doesn't take the record for the most short-lived Smiths reunion. That still goes to an agreement to reunite the band between Morrissey and Marr a decade ago, which seems to have lasted a matter of hours. Possibly minutes.

BACK TO THE TOP OF THE BULLETIN

 
ANDY MALT | Editor
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