TODAY'S TOP STORY: The US judge overseeing the latest Ed Sheeran song-theft legal battle has declined to ban the plaintiffs in the case from showing a YouTube video in which the musician himself mashes together his song with the one he's accused of ripping off. Though Sheeran's lawyers are still free to object again to that video being shown to jurors when the dispute is properly in court... [READ MORE]

TOP STORIES Judge in Ed Sheeran song-theft case declines to ban mash-up video from trial
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Warner launches new dance label Major Recordings
MEDIA BBC announces review of social media guidelines follow hoo haa over Gary Lineker tweet
EDUCATION & EVENTS National Album Day 2023 to celebrate the 90s
GIGS & FESTIVALS First acts announced for Christine And The Queens' Meltdown Festival
AWARDS Limitless Live launches Black Influence Awards
ONE LINERS Jpegmafia & Danny Brown, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Ragz Originale, more
AND FINALLY... Keith Moon biopic "will be made" despite all signs to the contrary
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Judge in Ed Sheeran song-theft case declines to ban mash-up video from trial
The US judge overseeing the latest Ed Sheeran song-theft legal battle has declined to ban the plaintiffs in the case from showing a YouTube video in which the musician himself mashes together his song with the one he's accused of ripping off. Though Sheeran's lawyers are still free to object again to that video being shown to jurors when the dispute is properly in court.

This is the legal battle where Sheeran is accused of ripping off Marvin Gaye's 'Let's Get It On' on his 2014 track 'Thinking Out Loud'. He's being sued by the estate of the earlier song's co-writer Ed Townsend and the dispute is due to get to trial next month.

The YouTube clip in question is of Sheeran playing 'Thinking Out Loud' at a concert in 2014 and inserting a bit of Gaye's song into the middle of the performance. Legal reps on the Townsend side want to show the video in court, reckoning it illustrates both the similarities between the two songs, and Sheeran's awareness of them.

However, Sheeran's lawyers argue, neither the similarities nor their client's awareness of them mean that Sheeran deliberately copied 'Let's Get It On', nor that the songs are sufficiently similar to constitute copyright infringement. Yet showing the video in court, they reckon, could imply both of those things to jurors.

To that end, the Sheeran side submitted a filing with the court last month seeking to have the judge rule that the video cannot be shown at next month's trial.

They stated that "there are dozens if not hundreds of songs that pre-date and post-date 'Let's Get It On' utilising the same or similar chord progression. These medleys are irrelevant to any issue in the case and would be misleading [and] confuse the jury".

The lawyers also argued that allowing the video to be shown in court could have a wider impact on the music industry, discouraging artists from performing fun medleys of this kind at their shows.

Unsurprisingly, legal reps for the Townsend estate hit back arguing that the video of Sheeran's on-stage mash-up provided "helpful guidance" to highlight and illustrate the similarities between the two songs and "why they are significant". In fact, they went on in their own legal filing, the video is "among the most important and critical evidence in the case".

In a ruling on the matter last week, according to Billboard, judge Louis Stanton formally denied the request to ban the video from the courtroom, although he specifically said that the Sheeran side can restate their case for excluding the clip during the trial itself.

And he did side with Sheeran's team on a proposal from the Townsend side that a live rendition of 'Let's Get It On' be performed in court. Sheeran's lawyers said that such a performance could be designed to "intentionally misrepresent" the song and could, therefore, be grounds for a mistrial.

Stanton basically agreed that the unpredictable nature of a live performance meant that such a performance would be "unreliable and inadmissible as evidence".

The Ed v Ed trial is currently due to get underway on 24 Apr.


Warner launches new dance label Major Recordings
Major record label Warner Music has just launched new dance-focussed record label Major Recordings. Which is definitely not confusing. The imprint will be headed up by Sam Mobarek and will sit under Warner Records, and its first signing is Parisi, in partnership with the major's (but not Major's) FFRR label, which is part of the Parlophone division. As I said, none of this is confusing.

"Over the past few years, we've strategically built a strong presence in the dance music community and have had quite a bit of success in that space - whether it's with Grammy Award-winning trio Rüfüs Du Sol or Billboard Music Award winner and Grammy nominee Illenium or David Guetta and Bebe Rexha's most recent number chart-topping hit, 'I'm Good (Blue)'", say Warner Records' COO Tom Corson and CEO Aaron Bay-Schuck, in a sentence that is definitely not too long or overly confusing.

"Now", they go on, "with Major Recordings, we're doubling down, putting renewed energy and dedicated focus on supporting even more acts from around the world. Sam will be the driving force behind our success, helping us ensure that this music and these artists make a true global and cultural impact".

Mobarek (that being the Sam they referred to there, remember) adds: "At Major Recordings, we're building a roster and team that reflects electronic culture and its roots in collaboration, integrity, inclusivity, and fun".

"We're bringing the independent spirit of the genre and giving it the major resources it deserves, supporting the broad spectrum of people who create this sound and the family of fans who love it. Our goal is to collaborate with the most innovative and talented artists on the scene. Many thanks to Tom and Aaron for giving me the opportunity to uplift and support our community".

Speaking about Major's first signing, Mobarek goes on: "Parisi are leaders of the new wave of high quality, innovative production that's becoming more and more revered en masse. We here at Major and FFRR consider them the future of the genre and are excited to collaborate globally with the duo".

Given how smart and definitely not confusing launching a label called Major as part of a major label is, you would think that there must be some sort of strategy at play here. And you would be right.

Commenting on that, Warner's Director Of Global Strategy For Electronic Music, Anton Partridge, also comments: "I am excited to provide a global foundation to innovators like Parisi with Major Recordings and FFRR. Sam brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to ensure the label Major becomes the home for artists with an aspiration for worldwide success, and Aaron and Tom's commitment to the genre will enhance our reach within the electronic landscape even further globally".

Mobarek, by the way, joins from Mob Creative, the marketing agency that she founded. She also previously headed up marketing at Ultra Music. So she's quite a major hire. For the major. And Major.


BBC announces review of social media guidelines follow hoo haa over Gary Lineker tweet
After a bizarre few days in which a tweet by an ex-footballer became the biggest political story of the moment in the UK, the BBC has announced a review of its social media guidelines for people working for and with the broadcaster.

For those of you not living in Stupid Land, here's a recap of recent events: former footballer and now BBC sports presenter Gary Lineker wrote on Twitter that the new Illegal Migration Bill being proposed by the UK government was "an immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s".

Those remarks sent the right wing division of the 'outrage for hire' brigade into meltdown and, in a panicked response, the BBC removed Lineker from its flagship football show 'Match Of The Day'.

In protest at that move, which many saw as BBC bosses folding under pressure from the government, most of Lineker's on-air colleagues bailed on last week's BBC sports programming, putting the Beeb into full-on crisis mode.

The presenter's opinions on the government's proposed new immigration laws quickly became irrelevant and the key debate was whether Lineker had breached the BBC's social media rules.

Super keen to ensure its news operation is seen to be politically impartial - partly because that's always good for a news operation, but mainly because of the broadcaster's licence fee funding and the Royal Charter that provides that funding - the BBC has rules about what its employees, especially within BBC News, can and can't say on social media.

But the big question posed by last week's debacle was whether all the restrictions that apply to the BBC's news teams also apply to those working for BBC Sport, including freelance on-screen talent like Lineker.

And even if they do, should they? Should the BBC be restricting the free speech rights of all its employees and talent - including those working in sport or, for that matter, music - or just those directly connected to the news division that needs to be seen to be impartial?

Anyway, the conclusion seems to be that it's hard to answer that big question because of "grey areas" in the current BBC rules. So the solution announced yesterday was to allow Lineker back on air - so that all his colleagues will likewise return to chat endlessly about football - and to then instigate a review of those BBC social media rules.

BBC boss man Tim Davie said in a statement: "Everyone recognises this has been a difficult period for staff, contributors, presenters and, most importantly, our audiences. I apologise for this. The potential confusion caused by the grey areas of the BBC's social media guidance that was introduced in 2020 is recognised. I want to get matters resolved and our sport content back on air".

"Impartiality is important to the BBC", he went on. "It is also important to the public. The BBC has a commitment to impartiality in its Charter and a commitment to freedom of expression. That is a difficult balancing act to get right where people are subject to different contracts and on air positions, and with different audience and social media profiles".

"The BBC's social media guidance is designed to help manage these sometimes difficult challenges and I am aware there is a need to ensure that the guidance is up to this task", he continued. "It should be clear, proportionate and appropriate. Accordingly, we are announcing a review led by an independent expert - reporting to the BBC - on its existing social media guidance, with a particular focus on how it applies to freelancers outside news and current affairs".

"The BBC and myself are aware that Gary is in favour of such a review", he concluded. "Shortly, the BBC will announce who will conduct that review. Whilst this work is undertaken, the BBC's current social media guidance remains in place. Gary is a valued part of the BBC and I know how much the BBC means to Gary, and I look forward to him presenting our coverage this coming weekend".


National Album Day 2023 to celebrate the 90s
UK trade groups BPI and ERA will once again stage National Album Day in October, this year with a focus on the 1990s - aka the last time anyone listened to an album. Just kidding, obviously. My mate Darren listened to an album just after Christmas. The celebration will also coincide with the 75th anniversary of the much-loved album format.

Lots of albums came out in the 90s. Some of them now deemed to be classics. Quite a lot of them really fucking shit. It was, of course, the boom times for the record industry, with CDs flying off the shelves. Who could forget the drama of Blur v Oasis? Or the golden age of hip hop? Or the birth of the Spice Girls? Or Maureen from 'Driving School'? Actually, I don't think she released an album. Forget I mentioned her. The 90s though, eh?

Of course, it'll also be the perfect time to commemorate the arrival of Napster right at the end of that decade, which proved revolutionary for the record business by helping to kickstart music's digital boom. You know, after it had stuffed the industry into the toilet. Fun, fun, fun.

"So long as story-telling remains central to making great music, the album will always occupy a special place in the hearts of artists and fans alike", says BPI Chief Strategy Officer and Interim CEO Sophie Jones. "The 90s were an especially rich decade for the format, with diverse genres, spanning Britpop, hip hop and trip hop among others, and brilliant artists who went onto become mainstays of our popular culture".

"We invite everyone with a love of the album to join us on this year's National Album Day journey of appreciation and discovery that will highlight, as it does each year, the enduring appeal of the art of the album and celebrate a truly memorable decade of albums that are now inspiring the next generation of talent", she adds.

Meanwhile, ERA CEO Kim Bayley comments: "With the album celebrating the iconic milestone of 75 years, it couldn't be a more exciting time to delve into a decade so rich in musical heritage and culture".

"From giving birth to legendary genres to launching the careers of many much-loved artists, the 90s is a decade that continues to connect and bring joy to music lovers, young and old, to this day", she goes on. "We're looking forward to not only celebrating the albums that shaped the decade but also to championing undiscovered gems and those that have inspired so many of today's generation of artists".

Hmm, neither of them mentioned Napster, did they? I guess they'll probably make a separate announcement about that later, as they build up the excitement about National Album Day. Seems like too big a milestone to ignore.

Anyway, you can start having a think now about what album or albums you will listen to on 14 Oct. That being National Album Day. Though, just to be clear, this is a UK-only event. There will yet again be no provision for people elsewhere in the world who might like to try listening to an album this year. You'll just have to buy an NFT and quietly sob at the meaninglessness of it all.


Approved: Kassa Overall
Newly signed to Warp Records, Kassa Overall has released his first single for the label - 'Ready To Ball' - beginning movement towards the follow-up to his 2020 album 'I Think I'm Good'. The rapper, jazz drummer and producer brings together a disparate collection of influences to create an experimental but infectious hip hop track.

"On an emotional level, the song is really dealing with feelings of jealousy", he says. "It's also an affirmation, to not get lost in the hustle of upward mobility. How bad do we want the shiny things? How much will we bend ourselves to get them?"

"At times I feel like, damn bro, it's so much of a struggle and a hustle to just keep it going that I don't have time to make sure my mental health and my soul is cool", he adds. "That's basically the polarity right there".

Building upon the sounds he's developed over two albums - the other being 2019's 'Go Get Ice Cream And Listen To Jazz' - all signs point to an exciting evolution in his music and career on the horizon. Details of more new music are expected soon. He also has US tour dates lined up this summer.

Listen to 'Ready To Ball' here.

Stay up to date with all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.

First acts announced for Christine And The Queens' Meltdown Festival
The first acts set to play the Christine And The Queens-curated Meltdown Festival at London's Southbank Centre this June have been announced. And it's a good list, mate. Real good.

There'll be two performances from Christine And The Queens for one thing. And beyond that, appearances from Sigur Rós, Warpaint, Django Django, Yemi Alade, Bat For Lashes, Oxlade, Moonchild Sanelly, Kokoroko, Jim Jarmusch's Sqürl, Johnny Jewel, Serpentwithfeet, Let's Eat Grandma, Lynks, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and Soap&Skin. Like I said, a good list.

"Art to save the city", pronounces Christine And The Queens. "Ten nights that are ours. Southbank Centre filled with beloved artists, some I discovered recently, some I know are amazing performers and poets. Dance. Theatre. Words and music. Friends and future friends. Raving, hopefully. Art to save the city! To free its contours and enliven the soul - it's the why we do what we do. I can't effing wait".

Adem Holness, Head Of Contemporary Music at the Southbank Centre, adds: "Meltdown is all about inviting audiences and artists into the imagination of the curator, and the music they love. If you've ever had a chance to experience the creativity of Christine And The Queens, you'll know it's full of fun and joy, but also somewhere to help us make sense of the world around us".

"Meltdown 2023 is shaping up to be like no other festival we've seen", he goes on. "With hugely infectious energy and bold ambitions, Meltdown will encompass creativity across Christine And The Queen's creative spectrum".

Meltdown will run from 9-18 Jun. Tickets go on general sale on 17 Mar. If you want more information, then you should almost certainly click here.


Limitless Live launches Black Influence Awards
Limitless Live - an annual event described as "a music festival with social purpose at its core" - has announced that it will launch the Black Influence Awards as part of this year's edition at the Roundhouse in London on 8 Apr.

Organisers say that the new awards, sponsored by whisky brand Ballantine's, will "celebrate black influencers and change-makers throughout a variety of industries". Shortlists have been put together by a panel of judges with the final winners due to be selected by public vote.

Alongside the new awards, Limitless Live will also "highlight pay disparity for black influencers". Organisers explain that a 2021 survey conducted by communications firm MSL found a that on average the monies generated by influencers differs depending on race, with "the gap between white and black influencers at 35%". To that end, Limitless Live will "challenge brands to pay equitably and showcase those who are having a positive impact on their industry".

Limitless Live founder Tolu says: "The Limitless Black Influence Awards is an extension of the Limitless Live brand, which is focused on having an equitable impact on communities, societies and business. While we are excited about celebrating and highlighting the achievements of the black influencers nominated, we also want to go further and advocate through data around the pay disparity they face".

Ballantine's is supporting the venture via its True Music initiative. The firm's Senior Global Brand Manager, Dan Maurice, says: "Ballantine's are very excited to be supporting Limitless Live's Black Influence Awards. For us, supporting initiatives that are focused on championing those worthy of celebration, participation and representation is the very key to what we do as part of our True Music platform".

"Music should be accessible and inclusive for everyone", he adds, "celebrating and representing those who our fans relate to. We are proud to be supporting an award that not only recognises black influence in music culture but continues to elevate it, which for us is the heart of True Music".

Krept & Konan, K-Trap and DJ Cuppy are among those due to play this year's Limitless Live - info here.



Chrysalis Records has signed a new agreement with Secretly Distribution covering all physical and digital distribution for the label. "I have long been an admirer of the Secretly Group of companies and the incredible music that they release on their various labels", says Chrysalis CEO Jeremy Lascelles. "So, when the moment came to reappraise our global distribution arrangements, it was clear to us that there was no better possible partner".



Beatport is launching a Web3 digital collectible marketplace. Are people still doing that? Apparently so. Probably about time we got some new buzzwords. It's a partnership with blockchain network Polkadot. "To usher in a new era for the electronic music space, we felt it was important to join forces with a trusted, long-time leader in the blockchain space", says SVP of Beatport's Media Group Ed Hill. "Polkadot's open and interoperable ecosystem enables us to seamlessly tap into Web3 and celebrate electronic music by connecting fans with their favourite artists in unique and powerful new ways". You can sign up for early access here, if that's the sort of thing you like.



That new music industry event that's due to take place in Manchester in October was formally launched at SXSW in Texas yesterday. Called Beyond The Music and described as "the world's first change-making music conference and festival", the aim is to identify and debate key issues facing the music industry, and to consider and facilitate solutions. The venture has been established as a cooperative which, organisers hope, means a diverse mix of people from across the entire music community will be able to participate. It has been co-founded by Oli Wilson, son of the late Tony Wilson, who - of course - ran the big Manchester-based festival and conference In The City back in the day. Info here.



Jpegmafia and Danny Brown have announced that they will release collaborative album 'Scaring The Hoes' on 24 Mar. From it, this is 'Lean Beef Patty'.

Ahead of the release of new album 'V' this Friday, Unknown Mortal Orchestra have released new single 'Meshuggah'.

Ragz Originale has released new single 'Troublin'. He says of the track: "'Troublin' is the ultimate voice of paranoia. There's two sides to every disaster, you ever thought what happens in your mind once you're caught out? Well this is a point of view you don't hear too often in a song, and of course I kept the bassline jumpin to ease the message. This is the first song I recorded for my new album, it definitely sets the narrative!"

Temples have released new single 'Afterlife', taken from new album 'Exotico', which is out on 14 Apr. "As we were putting the [album] tracklist together we envisioned a jet or spaceship arriving on the island and then some sort of journey across this imagined place", says the band's Thomas Walmsley. "By the second half of the record we're moving into twilight, and 'Afterlife' is definitely one of the evening tracks".

Art School Girlfriend has announced that she will release her second album 'Soft Landing' on 4 Aug. Out now is new single 'Close To The Clouds'. "I wanted it to embody the energy of the music I spent a lot of my teenage years and early 20s listening to", she says. "It's about reflecting on the winding path to contentment, having finally figured out how to find it".

Lambrini Girls have released new single 'White Van'. "This one goes out to all of the cis men with their dick out behind the wheel, screaming at us in the street without consequence", say the duo. "You're an idiot and no one wants to fuck you". Their debut EP 'You're Welcome' is out on 19 May.

Technology + Teamwork have released new single 'You Saw Something In Me', ahead of the arrival of their debut album 'We Used To Be Friends' this Friday. "We'd just bought these vocal effect units that pitched our voices down", says the duo's Anthony Silvester of writing the track. "We found it hilarious. Every time I sang 'oh baby' Sarah would start laughing, so I kept doing it. The song's about that rush you get when someone believes in you, and that's how I felt in that basement, just the two of us, making each other laugh".

Æ Mak has released new single 'Shimmer Boy'. "I headed over to Berlin for a couple of months late 2021 and this was the first song I made there", she says. "I didn't have a mic that week so I just recorded the vocals and harmonica with the laptop mic and leaned into that nostalgic indie sound. The lyrics are made up of a stream of texts between me and Shimmer Boy himself. The start of a bit of magic. We both live in Berlin now".



Interpol have announced UK tour dates in May and June, kicking off at the Brighton Dome on 28 May. Tickets go on general sale on Friday.

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


Keith Moon biopic "will be made" despite all signs to the contrary
Roger Daltrey has spent a long time not getting a biopic about his late Who bandmate Keith Moon produced. Rest assured though, it "will be made". So says the Dalt-man himself. That's what people call him, isn't it?

"I'm waiting on a reply from a director that I was talking to prior to starting writing the script", Roggy D tells NME in a new interview. "I'm very pleased with the script, it will be made. As soon as he's finished the film that he's on, he will read it and I'll get a reply from him. Hopefully we'll get it made ASAP".

It originally seemed like the film was on its way to screens in 2005, when Mike Myers signed up to play the late drummer. It wasn't to be though, as development of the movie stalled. Last we heard, it was definitely going to happen in 2022. But now it's 2023 and there's still no film.

Dalto continues: "It's a tricky one, and it's taken me a long, long time. A myriad of writers came up with failed scripts to finally make me sit down and write the kind of story I had in my head of how to tell a story that engages people, that really does expose the full Moon".

What's that? No, I didn't decide to report on this just because R.Dalt said he wanted to "expose the full Moon". How dare you! Oh, alright, yes I did. Who would be the best person to expose the full Moon though? Someone who could perfectly portray the musician's trademark wildness and top notch drum banging?

"I've got someone in mind as a template, but he might be too old to play Keith", muses Daltron. "But I've got a template, which is the most useful thing. Mike [Myers] would have been great at that time but he's too old now, unfortunately. But I do have someone in mind who's a very very, very good actor. But again, he might be too old but he's a template".

Yeah, about that. In 2005 Mike Myers was 42. Keith Moon died of a drugs overdose in 1978, aged 32. So I'm not sure anyone's that worried about the actor being too old. Fuck it, get someone much older to do. Helen Mirren maybe.

Anyway, this film is going to get made, right? That's a Rozza Daltroz guarantee. And it definitely won't be shit when it is. Even though all biopics are shit.


ANDY MALT heads up our editorial operations, overseeing the CMU Dailywebsite and Setlist podcast, managing social channels, reporting on artist and business stories, and writing the CMU Approved column.
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CHRIS COOKE is co-Founder and MD of CMU - he continues to write key business news stories, and runs training, research and event projects for the CMU Insights consultancy unit and CMU:DIY future talent programme.
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SAM TAYLOR leads on the commerical side of CMU, overseeing sales, sponsorship and business development, as well as heading up training, research and event projects at our consultancy unit CMU Insights.
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CARO MOSES is Editor of CMU's sister media ThisWeek Culture and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh. Having previously also written and edited articles for CMU, she continues to advise and support our operations.
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