|TUESDAY 28 FEBRUARY 2023||COMPLETEMUSICUPDATE.COM|
|TODAY'S TOP STORY: With The Great Escape in Brighton now just ten weeks away, today the full topic outlines have been published for the three CMU+TGE Sessions that will sit at the heart of this year's TGE Conference, plus a first batch of speakers has also been announced and the return of the Steve Strange Award confirmed... [READ MORE]|
Full topic outlines published for CMU+TGE Sessions at The Great Escape 2023
Once again the CMU+TGE Sessions will put the spotlight on three key topics: music and education on Wednesday 10 May, music and deals on Thursday 11 May, and music and the creator economy on Friday 12 May.
The Music + Education strand will ask how the music industry can help deliver the new National Plan For Music Education in England, how online content and digital education platforms are changing how people learn, and how traditional educators can work alongside digital educators to deliver maximum value.
In addition to that, it will ask what skills are needed in the music business today, what skills will be in demand in the future, and how education and industry can ensure that young people develop the skills they need to succeed.
The Music + Deals strand will identify and dissect the deals that best help artists achieve their objectives, consider the different options artists now have when selecting and negotiating with their business partners, and look at how the evolution of consumption is informing deals around particular rights.
It will also ask what that evolution of consumption means for the music industry's digital deals in the future - and will investigate how samples and interpolations are delivering new licensing opportunities for songwriters and music publishers.
The Music + Creator Economy strand will dissect and discuss the growing number of tools, platforms and market-places being used by creators of music to write, record and iterate music, to facilitate collaborations, and to generate new income from their creative expertise.
It will also look at what being part of the creator economy can mean for musicians - as both creators and consumers. And will review the digital tools and platforms that help frontline artists - and other creators in and beyond music - to grow their fanbases and monetise the fan relationship.
Speakers set to join the discussions in those three strands include Alex Lee Thomson, Director at Green House Group; Bridget Whyte, CEO at Music Mark; Eric Mackay, Co-Founder of imbr; Eve Horne, Founder of Peak Music; Jen Anderson, Senior Lecturer at Point Blank Music School; Jill Hollywood, MD at Echo Beach Management; Keturah Cummings, Founder of Forward Slash; Mark Terry, Head Of Europe at beatBread; Nick Eziefula, Partner at Simkins; Pamela McCormick, Founder of UD; Sophie Goossens, Partner at ReedSmith; and Vanessa Wilson, a specialist leader of music education.
They join the previously announced Yolanda Brown, Michelle Escoffery, Smade and David Marcus, who will all appear within the keynote in conversations programme that sits alongside the CMU+TGE Sessions, as well as the series of panels, workshops, parties and networking events presented by TGE's music industry partners.
In addition to all of the information about the TGE Conference programme, details have also been announced about the return of the Steve Strange Award, which was launched at last year's Great Escape in honour of the late booking agent and co-founder of X-Ray Touring Steve Strange.
The award celebrates music-makers that are "breaking through creative boundaries in the music industry", with all the artists and bands playing TGE eligible and the winner selected by a vote of delegates attending the festival. The winning band receives a £5000 cash prize.
Last year's winners were Audiobooks, who say of that win: "It was a wonderful surprise to win the Steve Strange Award last year. Appropriately for an award created in Steve Strange's honour, we are using the funds to help elevate the production of our live shows. Touring is not always easy for independent artists so help like this goes a long way".
This year's Great Escape takes place from 10-13 May. To access all strands of the TGE Conference and to get priority access to the festival, you need to get yourself a delegate pass - which you can do here.
Music industry welcomes renewed support from US community radio groups for proposed new royalty
That community broadcasters support the proposed new law is key for musicFIRST and others in the music industry lobbying for the act, as the big commercial radio companies are prone to use the potential impact of any new royalty commitments on smaller independents as a reason for opposing the proposals.
US copyright law is unusual in not providing full performing rights for sound recordings, meaning that AM/FM radio stations do not need to get a licence from or pay royalties to the record industry. AMFA is the latest attempt by the music industry to bring US copyright in line with most other copyright systems around the world, providing artists and labels with a radio royalty.
It is strongly opposed by the big radio firms, who have always enjoyed a lot of influence in Washington. They also have their own proposals in US Congress - the Local Radio Freedom Act - which are really non-proposals, in that they seek to keep the current system in place. Both AMFA and LRFA have been reintroduced into the latest session of Congress.
When the former was reintroduced earlier this month, six organisations representing community radio groups in the US confirmed in an open letter that they support AMFA, and are happy that the special provisions in it for the smallest radio stations are workable and fair.
"As supporters of community broadcasting, including community radio, college radio and low power FM, we believe that the relationship between community stations and musicians should continue to be mutually supportive", they wrote.
"AMFA accomplishes this by offering a balanced approach", they added, "ensuring that performing musicians are compensated, as is already the case in most of the world, without placing an undue burden on small and noncommercial broadcasters".
With the US National Association Of Broadcasters actively lobbying against any new radio royalty once again this week, musicFIRST yesterday noted and welcomed the ongoing support of those community radio groups for AMFA.
"As the NAB prepares to descend on Capitol Hill this week for their annual 'fly-in' event, six organisations that represent and/or advocate for community broadcasters are sending a message that the AMFA is good for small, community-focused stations", it said in a statement.
Meanwhile, musicFIRST Chair Joe Crowley added: "As the NAB heads to Washington this week to lobby on behalf of its big radio bosses, musicFIRST will continue to be an advocate for community broadcasters by demanding passage of AMFA so small broadcasters will be able to play unlimited music for less than $2 per day - giving these community treasures the affordability and certainty they need to thrive far into the future".
BPI announces Jo Twist as new chief executive
Commenting on her appointment, Twist says: "I am delighted to join the BPI at such an exciting time for British music. Having spent the last 25 years working across cutting-edge creative industries I look forward to working with the team as they support their label members and the wider music community in fully realising the value of music - growing the market, boosting exports and ensuring the recognition and backing the industry deserves".
"The industry's talent, so passionately nurtured by innovative major and independent record labels, is world leading", she goes on, "and the BPI plays an important role in creating an environment where labels and their artists can thrive and the next generation of talent can be supported into the industry".
BPI Chair YolanDa Brown adds: "On behalf of the BPI, its Council and members, I am excited to welcome Jo Twist as our new Chief Executive. In what was a competitive recruitment process she showed great passion, drive and a big heart for music".
"Jo has outstanding credentials and, along with her fresh perspective, she will bring a rich breadth of experience garnered in games and across the creative industries", she continues. "This will prove invaluable to the BPI and to UK recorded music as we navigate great changes in our industry. We wish her all the very best in the role and keenly look forward to her arrival this summer".
Previous chief exec Geoff Taylor announced his decision to step down last year. He was with the BPI for more than fifteen years, and led the trade body during what was initially a very challenging period for the record industry as the shift to digital caused a slump in recorded music revenues, until the streaming boom kickstarted a new era of growth.
Since his departure at the beginning of the year, Chief Strategy Officer Sophie Jones has been acting as interim CEO, and will continue to do so until Twist starts her new job in July.
Commenting on the Twist's appointment, Jones says: "I've had the pleasure of working with Jo previously, and her exceptional qualities will serve the BPI and our members well. There is much to do to deliver our goals to support continued investment in new talent, keep the UK music sector strong in a hyper-competitive global market and to tackle the new disruptions on the horizon, such as AI. I'm really looking forward to welcoming Jo to the BPI and working with her".
Twist held her previous role as CEO of UKIE for more than eleven years.
Canadian government bans employees from using TikTok on official devices
The decision in Canada comes as political concerns continue to build over access the Chinese government may or may not have to TikTok user-data via the app's China-based owner Bytedance.
Employees of the federal government in the US were banned from using TikTok late last year, with the White House yesterday telling government agencies that they now have 30 days to ensure that the app is no longer installed on any official devices.
Meanwhile, in Europe, the European Commission and the Council of the European Union banned their employees from using TikTok on work devices last week.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau indicated that there weren't currently any plans to more widely limit the use of TikTok within the country, although he didn't rule out further restrictions being considered down the line, while suggesting that both individuals and companies might want to review their own use of the TikTok platform.
"I suspect that as government takes the significant step of telling all federal employees that they can no longer use TikTok on their work phones", he said, "many Canadians - from businesses to private individuals - will reflect on the security of their own data and perhaps make choices".
"I'm always a fan of giving Canadians the information [they need] to make the right decisions for themselves", he added.
TikTok continues to deny that there are any data privacy issues on its platform. A spokesperson for the company said that the latest government ban on using the app had been instigated "without citing any specific security concerns about TikTok or contacting us to discuss any concern prior to making this decision".
"We are always available to meet with our government officials to discuss how we protect the privacy and security of Canadians", they added, "but singling out TikTok in this way does nothing to achieve that shared goal. All it does is prevent officials from reaching the public on a platform loved by millions of Canadians".
Southbank Centre announces 50th anniversary celebration of David Bowie's Aladdin Sane album
"We're honoured to pay tribute to David Bowie, who made his Southbank Centre debut in 1969", says the venue's Artistic Director Mark Ball. "The 'Aladdin Sane' album cover portrait is considered to be one of the most influential pop culture images of the past half century, and the music remains fresh and contemporary, so we wanted to recognise this major anniversary and reflect on the album and its artwork's enduring legacy".
"It's a work that continues to inspire today's contemporary artists and the gender fluidity of the images still resonate deeply in queer culture in the UK and across the world", he adds.
The artwork exhibition will run from 6 Apr to 28 May, and has been curated by Chris Duffy, son of the photographer who took the distinctive lightning flash portrait, Brian Duffy. It will explore the music scene of the time, and the relationship between Bowie and Duffy that led to the January 1973 photoshoot.
"My father's image of Bowie is often called the Mona Lisa of pop", says Duffy. "It's important to remember it was the result of a short studio shoot using film, which then had to be sent out for commercial processing. There were no instant digital images or Photoshop then. It's extraordinary how it's lasted and been endlessly reworked. Wherever I go in the world, it's always somewhere on a t-shirt".
Alongside the exhibition, Duffy will also publish a book on 30 Mar called 'Aladdin Sane 50: The Definitive Celebration Of Bowie's Most Iconic Album And Music's Most Famous Photograph'. It will include previously unseen photographs from the shoot.
Back at the Southbank Centre there will be a separate free exhibition looking at Bowie's history with the venue, from his performance at the then newly opened Purcell Room in 1969, through later performances alongside Lou Reed, and his curation of the Meltdown festival in 2002.
Then, on 21 Apr, there will be a live performance in the Royal Festival Hall to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of 'Aladdin Sane', with Jake Shears, Anna Calvi, Tawiah, Roxanne Tataei and Lynks joining the Nu Civilisation Orchestra to perform the album in full. The influence of Bowie will be further explored with DJ collective Queer House Party also playing on 21 Apr and Afro-Caribbean inspired Queer Bruk playing a mix of dancehall, afrobeats and soca on 22 Apr.
That same weekend, there will be a series of talks and poetry events, including conversations with Chris Duffy, as well as the co-curators of the V&A's 'David Bowie Is' exhibition, Geoffrey Marsh and Victoria Broackes, plus Paul Burston and Golnoosh Nour talking about the cultural impact of Bowie's androgyny and subversion of gender identity. There will also be spoken word performances from Luke Kennard, Keith Jarrett, Golnoosh Nour and Mark Waldron.
Tickets go on sale on 1 Mar. Find out more here.
The announcement of the 'Aladdin Sane' celebrations comes just days after the V&A museum in London announced that it had acquired Bowie's archive. It plans to display the collection of more than 80,000 items in a newly created David Bowie Centre For The Study Of Performing Arts at V&A East Storehouse in East London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. That is set to open in 2025.
Stormzy announces free #Merky Books Literary Festival
Sponsored by Netflix, the free event will feature headline interviews with rapper Wretch 32 and former Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman.
There will be additional sessions featuring the likes of author Candice Brathwaite, playwright Theresa Ikoko and BBC Radio 1Xtra presenter Richie Brave, as well as spoken word performances from Sophia Thakur, Monika Radojevic, Caleb Femi and Yomi Sode, plus workshops, mentoring, masterclasses and screenings.
"I'm so proud that we're able to offer a free festival to inspire young creatives", says Stormzy. "This is going to be our biggest event yet for #Merky Books".
The book publisher's Senior Commissioning Editor Lemara Lindsay-Prince adds: "At #Merky Books, we are committed to breaking down barriers in the publishing industry and investing in the voices of today and tomorrow".
"We are incredibly excited to host our first ever literary festival in partnership with Netflix and proud to put on an event that speaks directly to our core values", she goes on, "going even further to demystify the creative industries, empower a new generation of talent and offer an insight into the range of careers in the arts".
Agent Beckie Sugden has joined booking agency CAA. Says co-head of CAA London, Emma Banks: "We are THRILLED to have Beckie join our team and contribute her talents to the work we do for our artists. She has a proven track record for success in the representation business and, in just a couple of days, has become an integral part of the CAA team here in London".
Daughter have released new single 'Swim Back'. Their new album 'Stereo Mind Game' is out on 7 Apr.
Los Bitchos have released a new double A-side single, featuring covers of 'Tequila' by The Cramps and 'Trapdoor' by King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard. "We love King Gizzard and 'Trapdoor' was a song of theirs that stood out for a cover choice", say the band. "It was that repetitive hook of 'trapdoor, trapdoor, trapdoor' that we found so compelling and trippy. 'Tequila' has been the joyfully unhinged ending to our set for the past year. It always feels like it could fall apart at any moment and we wanted to capture that energy on the recording". Los Bitchos are currently touring Europe with King Gizzard and will play two London shows next month at Alexandra Palace on 22 Mar and Troxy on 23 Mar.
Heather Woods Broderick has released new single 'Admiration'. The song, she explains, was written amid the 2020 wildfires in Oregon. She says: "I was scared and missing my partner, not knowing whether I should evacuate or which road I'd have the best chance to get out on. Amidst my fear and feelings of helplessness amplifying the current state of the world, I was also remembering what I have to be grateful for - trying to use fear and uncertainty as a vehicle for hope". Her new album 'Labyrinth' is set for release on 7 Apr.
Svalbard have released new single 'Eternal Spirits'. The band's Serena Cherry says of the song: "'Eternal Spirits' is one of the most tragic songs we have ever written, yet it is also a celebration of legacy and musical heritage. It is a song about late metal musicians who sadly passed away too soon and the loss we feel within the metal community without their presence".
GIGS & TOURS
Wu-Tang Clan and Nas have announced a co-headline tour, set to hit the UK and Ireland in June. They will play Dublin's 3Arena on 9 Jun, Glasgow's Hydro on 12 Jun and The O2 in London on 13 Jun. Tickets go on general sale on Friday.
Kings Of Leon have announced two shows at Wrexham's Racecourse Ground on 27 and 28 May. Tickets go on general sale on Friday.
Adam Lambert has announced that he will play the Royal Albert Hall in London on 5 Jun. Tickets go on general sale on Friday.
Animals As Leaders have announced UK tour dates in November, including a show at the Kentish Town Forum in London on 2 Nov. The dates are rescheduled from January, with original tickets still valid.
Beverley Knight has announced that she will play a show to mark her 50th birthday at Lafayette in London on 23 Mar. "I have completed my 50th year around the sun and I am in the mood to celebrate", she says. "I am so grateful to be here, still singing and performing to both music and theatre audiences everywhere. Thank you for the love and support you have shown me. So damn excited about this special show!" Tickets will go on sale on Friday.
Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.
Weezer's Rivers Cuomo cracks and duets with fan on TikTok after nearly 1000 requests
It's a nice idea, but how quickly would you throw in the towel? After a month? Six months? A year? Well, Marselli kept going for nearly three years before Cuomo relented.
Marselli posted his 990th video yesterday, at which point it was clear that his enthusiasm for the project was waning a little. "The real question is, do I remain committed to the bit after day 1000? If Rivers doesn't do it on day 1000, do I still keep going?" he asked.
He then appealed to his 15,000 followers for advice. But here's the thing, people, we will never know the answer to that question. Why? Because Cuomo only went and did it. After 990 posts, Cuomo finally joined in, matching Marselli's playing of the guitar lick in a duet video.
In a new post this morning, Marselli shared a video of himself playing nothing and then switching off his amp, commenting: "Well damn. It's finally come to an end. Thanks to everyone who's followed me and supported me along the way. What should I post on here now?"
Well, he could post videos of himself practising playing the song some more, because Cuomo didn't just duet with Marselli on TikTok, he also laid down his own challenge.
"Challenge you to come play this live on Weezer's 'Indie Rock Road Trip' tour this summer", he wrote. "My people will reach out to your people".
So I guess you could say that turned out well. It does seem like quite a lot of effort to go to though, even if he does get a spot on stage. And I think we'd all like to know exactly when Cuomo became aware of Marselli's quest and whether he knowingly kept him waiting. Did he first see one of Marselli's videos on day 989 - or sometime earlier? Maybe this could be discussed at the gig.