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Industrial Strength May 8, 2018

Industrial Strength: May 8

Industrial Strength: May 8

NOW WARNER MUSIC SELLS SPOTIFY SHARES, MAKES $400M

During Warner Music Group’s earnings report overnight, CEO Stephen Cooper revealed that the company had sold 75% of its Spotify shares –and made $400 million.

It comes less than a week after Sony sold half its Spotify stock and made about $750 million – which it also promised to share with artists

Cooper said, “We’ll share these proceeds [the same way] we share revenue from actual streams and so-called digital breakage.

“In addition, we will be sharing equity proceeds with distributed labels – if [this is] included in their agreements with us.”

Bam! Bam! Bam! That’s the sound of executives of distributed labels running to check their contracts again to see if they included equity shares depending on market share.


GRINSPOON’S PHIL JOINS JULY DRY

Grinspoon’s Phil Jamieson has signed up to take part in annual cancer charity fundraiser, Dry July, by going off the booze for a month– a move which received a thumbs-up from buddy Russell Crowe.

Rusty posted: “The very best time of the year to take @philjamieson out for a drink is back!!

“I admire your consistency with this great cause Phil, very cool.”

Following Crowe’s message, Jamieson tagged others, including Violent Soho, Dune Rats, Chris Cheney, Josh Pyke and Danny Clayton, badgering them to join him.

Some sadly responded they’d be struggling to stay sober in July due to Splendour In The Grass and Warped Tour.

Jamieson joins 500 others who already signed up to raise money for the 10th anniversary of Dry July.

Each year, over 20,000 Aussies take part in the fundraiser, and over the last 10 years have raised over $30 million for those living with cancer.

Jamieson is currently topping the leader board of fundraisers.

Those interested in donating or signing up to raise money can find out more at www.dryjuly.com


CHARGES OVER DARWIN MUSICIAN’S DEATH

A Northern Territory government department and an independent construction contractor have been charged by NT Worksafe over the April 20, 2016 death of Darwin musician Peter Bonnell aka Pedro Swift.

They face fines of up to $1.5 million.

On the night, 43-year-old Swift had mixed the sound for a band at Darwin Hotel and was riding home on his motorbike when he crashed into a traffic diversion on Tiger Brennan Drive at 2.17 am, throwing him into a trailer.

The road works were managed by the NT Department of Infrastructure, which contracted Queensland-based BMD Constructions to set up the diversion.

NT Worksafe alleges the set-up was not in accordance with standards, and not in accordance with an approved traffic control diagram.

The matter is listed for mention in the Darwin Local Court on June 6.

In January, coroner Greg Cavanagh questioned the allegedly faulty set-up and referred the matter to the police commissioner and the director of public prosecutions.

He also noted that Swift’s blood level was four times the legal driving limit after he drank 10 rum and cokes and smoked cannabis at least twice.

This, the coroner said, significantly affected “the manner he rode the motorbike, his level of observation and his reaction time.”


DARK MOFO TICKET SALES COME OUT OF HELL

Tasmania’s experimental Dark Mofo continues on its merry path to break its own ticket sales.

Last month it sold almost $1 million worth of tix in one day, and within weeks, moving some shows to bigger venues as they started to sell out due to “unprecedented demand”.

A second Tim Minchin show at the Odeon Theatre was added after the first sold out in 18 minutes.

On the weekend, the festival revealed only 40 tickets remain for the June 16 Night Mass.


UK SINGER HRVY ON PROMO VISIT

EMI Music has UK pop singer HRVY visiting Sydney and Melbourne this week to promote his new Latin-flavoured single ‘Hasta Luego’, a duet with Miami-based Latin pop princess Malu.

The 19-year-old singer from Kent has a combined social reach of over 7 million followers. He has 2.8 million Instagram followers, 1 million Vevo subscribers and over 1 million followers on both Facebook and Musical.ly.

The video to previous release ‘Personal’ had 100 million+ views, alongside 60 million streams of the track across all platforms.

During his Australian visit, he plays Sydney’s Home on Friday 11 and 170 Russell in Melbourne on Saturday 12.


GROW YOUR OWN WAY

The new Fleetwood Mac lineup does not make its debut until October.

But its two new guitarists, Neil Finn and Mike Campbell of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers fame, gave a preview at Neil and Liam’s show at Largo At The Coronet club in Los Angeles before 280 fans.

Finn said, “Playing at Largo is really about having wonderful surprises occur,” and “I’d like to welcome to the stage now a wonderful guitar player I’ve just had the extreme pleasure of learning how to play with — and there’s still more to learn, but for now let’s welcome Mike Campbell!”

According to Variety, they exchanged licks on Fleetwood Mac’s Peter Green-era single ‘Man of the World’ and then a six-minute jam on Davie Bowie’s ‘Moonage Daydream’.

Someone in the crowd yelled out for Mac’s ‘Go Your Own Way’, which Finn will no doubt be good-naturedly copping during his upcoming Australian shows.”


MUSIC BIZ SWERVES BEHIND AILING MERV McCASKER

The music community has swung behind festival site manager ‘Swervin’ Merv McCasker who was recently diagnosed with inoperable cancer.

Chemo is not going to help, and other treatment options are not yet covered by Medicare or the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

McCasker worked on Big Day Out, Good Vibrations, Field Day, Homebake and Parklife.

Support Act Ltd has been running a fundraising campaign at https://supportact.org.au/the-merv-mccasker-appeal/ for medical bills and living costs.

Today (Tuesday May 8) there is a fundraiser at the Beresford in Sydney which includes auctions and raffles of memorabilia and services donated by his colleagues and friends.


SA’S STIGWOOD FELLOWSHIP OPENS

Back for a fifth year, applications for the Robert Stigwood Fellowship are open – set up to help music artists and entrepreneurs to develop their skills and global networks.

The late Stigwood – a huge music impresario whose domain included artist management, theatre and film production – was born in 1934 in Port Pirie before heading to the UK in the ‘50s.

Aside from funding, recipients get mentoring from  Adelaide-based Stu MacQueen and Dan Crannitch of Wonderlick Entertainment.

Among recent Stigwood Fellowship success stories are: Electro duo Electric Fields landing a publishing deal with Sony/ATV; MANE scoring high rotation on triple j; West Thebarton signing to Domestic La La Records and Fidelity Management; folk artist Tom West rocketing up the Spotify charts with more than 115,000 monthly listeners; and EDM act Luke Million going viral with his remix of the Stranger Things’ TV theme racking up more than 4.5 million views on Facebook and 1.7 million plays on Spotify.

Applications close 5pm, Friday June 1. More details and to apply, visit http://arts.sa.gov.au/grants/robert-stigwood-fellowship-program 


NUMBER CRUNCHING AT MIDNIGHT MAFIA

The Midnight Mafia rave at the Sydney Showgrounds last Saturday night offered some interesting numbers.

14,000 attended, making it a sell-out.

187 people were searched and 3,500 MDMA ecstasy capsules nabbed.

4 people were hospitalised, one critical.

256 needed on-site medical aid.

13 charged with drug supply, 32 with possession.


AUSTRALIA TO GET NEW VIDEO ON DEMAND SERVICE

Australia will get a new subscription video on demand service by the end of the year.

It will be CBS All Access, CBS’s chief executive Leslie Moonves, announcing, adding that it will use its acquisition, Network Ten, to launch the service.


DUNEDIN LAUNCHES OWN SPOTIFY CHANNEL

In a first for a New Zealand city, Dunedin launched its own Spotify channel yesterday to brand itself as a music city.

The playlists are named after Dunedin landmarks and experiences, and targeting worldwide Spotify users.

The idea is not only to profile the city’s acts such as Aldous Harding, Nadia Reid and Six60, but to show NZ to be a place for music tourists to come and discover more music.

The Dunedin City Council is also reproducing the playlists on its venues, outdoor stages and on-hold music, and to ensure more royalties for the acts.


DMAS, AC/DC, IN OVERSEAS CHARTS

Sydney band the DMA’S second album For Now debuted the UK charts at #13 and #2 on the Independent charts, giving a jolt to their current UK tour.

It far-exceeded the #36 peak position of 2016’s Hills End, although the record is now climbing back up the Independent charts to #43.

DMA’S are currently running a competition for UK fans, offering side-of-stage views at the Reading or Leeds festivals.

AC/DC’s Back In Black is back in black in the Billboard Top 200 at #152, as a result of the album re-released on cassette version for Record Store Day on April 21.


GEORGE MICHAEL DOCO FOR NZ

The director’s cut of the George Michael documentary Freedom is about to roll out to film festivals around the world.

The first stops will be Documentary Edge Film festival in New Zealand (May 13) and Krakow Film Festival (May 29).

No Australian festival has been announced as of yet.


PETE MURRAY GOES THE THESPIAN ROUTE

Singer-songwriter Pete Murray’s acting debut Thicker Than Water will be accessed in Australia and New Zealand from May 18 via Amazon Prime & Instant Video and Vimeo On Demand.

Produced independently by Mad Lane Productions, it was filmed on the Sunshine Coast about the frailties of the family.

Co-stars include Brad McMurray (San Andreas, Bad Karma, Sea Patrol), Philippe Klaus (Wolf Creek 2, Brock) and the film’s writer and lead actress Ellie Popov (Emporium, Interface).

Murray reveals, “While at times I was nervous and pretty scared, I saw it as a great opportunity to take a giant leap into the world of acting, plus I got to work with friends, have a great time and expand on something that I’m genuinely interested in.”

Thicker Than Water was recently released in the US by Mad Lane Productions on Amazon Prime.

Producer Madeleine Kennedy, along with Adam Horner and the sales team at Ignite Pictures, secured Green Apple Entertainment for video on demand in North America and Melbourne-based Bounty Films for Australian and rest of world distribution.


NZ SINGER DROPPED FROM FACEBOOK OVER NUDE VIDEO

New Zealand singer Helen Corry has been banned by Facebook over nude scenes in her music video for ‘La Femme’.

Ironically, Corry’s song was about sexual harassment, and the nude scene depicted a woman in body paint being groped by hands to the chorus of ‘Time’s up’.

Corry says being dropped causes more drastic consequences. One of the criteria for funding from government’s funding body NZ On Air is a following on Facebook.


RONAN KEATING SIGNS FOR “ALL TOGETHER NOW”

Ronan Keating signed for Seven’s new singing show All Together Now as chief judge.

The show, hosted by Julia Zemiro, sees solos and group-fronting singers being judged by The 100 – comprised of singers and music industry – for a $100,000 winning prize.

Keating said: “This show is a massive hit in the UK and so much fun.

“I jumped at the chance of being The 100 captain.

“Australia is like home to me so any chance to return here is a blessing.”


KIWIS ABROAD

Four New Zealand acts are playing this month’s The Great Escape in Brighton, England.

They are soul singers Deeks and Louis Baker, Americana singer-songwriter Delaney Davidson, and heavy rock band Yukon Era.

They play the official NZ Showcase as well as their own shows.

In the meantime NZ hip hop act Kurnel MC aka Luke Epapara, who’s been based in England since 2012 and starting to fill out clubs, is about to embark on a 10-date festival run through the UK and Europe.


VICTORIA SETS UP ANTI-SCALPER TASK FORCE

The Victorian government has passed a law to set up an anti-scalping task force to patrol music events (and not just sports events, as was previously) to stomp hard on scalpers plying their trade.

Last November, when the government announced anti-scalping legislation, it gave powers for cops to seize tickets if they suspected they were being resold at inflated prices, provided they give them a receipt for the same.


CULTURAL, LEADERSHIP, SCHOLARASHIPS FOR INDIGENOUS TALENT

The ACT announced that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural, Leadership and Scholarship Grants have now opened until May 31.

There is a total of $115,000 available in grants, with individuals applying for up to $3,000 and community organisations up to $5,000 to assist in a program or event that will promote wider understanding of the cultures of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples living in the ACT.

Under the Scholarship program, individuals may apply for up to $5,000 to undertake study and training to develop their skills and enhance their employment prospects in the ACT.

Applicants can seek assistance for a range of equipment or other support to undertake courses, and assistance with fees for courses from Certificate IV to university degrees.


AND A FEW OTHER THINGS …

A petition has begun for Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys to shave off his beard.

Aussie soul singer Ngaiire has given birth to a son. She has not been able to perform live due to a health scare but she’s been making music. A demo from her next album is to be posted online soon.

After her series of US tours (the last one in 2017) Gordi is doing a month-long residency at Brooklyn’s Baby’s All Right. She’s bringing on some friends to join her, some of whom were on her debut album Reservoir, and some new ones whom she’s met on the way.

Tex Perkins told the Sunday Herald-Sun he and Kim Salmon are forming a punk band (as one of his many projects) as this is Beasts of Bourbon’s Brian Hooper’s last request before his death.

Newcastle singer Georgie Jones filmed her band’s performance at the Coal & Cedar, partly to use for promo reasons, and partly to document the last show with guitarist Jason Lowe. On the heels of the release of his solo album Sorrow & Splendour, he is relocating to Melbourne.

One of the teen patrons of Mackay bush festival Wintermoon was taken to hospital after being bitten by a snake.

On the eve of his Australian theatre run this week, Marlon Williams and his band The Yarra Benders played two US TV shows, performing ‘What’s Chasing You’ on Conan, and ‘Vampire Again’ and ‘Nobody Gets What They Want Anymore’ on Last Call With Carson Daly.

Sydney comedian Chris Lilley’s new 10-part co-Netflix production has been shrouded in secret – no more than when the production took over the Platinum Nightclub on the Gold Coast over a two-day shoot. Cast and crew used the back door to get in and out, so no faces were recognised. So secret that Platinum owners had to explain to their regulars that the fictional name plastered over the club’s name was not meant to suggest it was to undergo a name change.

Geelong children’s entertainment group The Mik Maks played their first show since the passing of Dean McInnes in April.

Brisbane band The Gifthorse will play for the very last time as a fundraiser to increase awareness of depression. The show in Melbourne is also a farewell to frontman Shane Collins who died in February. The show at the Reverence Hotel on June 10 includes Luca Brasi, A Death In The Family (their first show since they broke up in 2012)  Like…Alaska, Pagan, Lincoln Le Fevre & The Insiders and The Cutaways.

The band posted, “If it’s not completely traumatic we will try to do a final show in Brisbane.”

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