Might as well do the white line: Liam Gallagher, still caning it at 45

The former Oasis singer admitted in an interview that he still takes medications. Which may make it a bit tricky to caution his children off them, he says

S Club 7 member puts Brit award up for sale on eBay

There are bills to pay, says Paul Cattermole, whose gong for best newcomer from 2000 has watched bidding reaching 66,000 with three days still to go

Paul Cattermole, a former member of the chart-topping pop band S Club 7, is auctioning off his Brit award on eBay, quoting” bills to pay “. After being put on the auction site for an initial PS650, the item has at the time of writing attracted bids of PS66, 000, with three days still to go.

S Club 7, who scored 10 top three reaches in the UK including four No 1s, won the best British newcomer awarding at the 2000 rite. Cattermole describes the award as having” signs of age”, and offers a meet and greet with whoever wins the auction, including photos,” distance depending “.” It’s time to let the past be the past ,” he adds.

S
S Club 7 in happier times. Photo: PA

He might be hoping to follow in the footsteps of another pop superstar from the same era: Abz Love from the boyband 5ive put his Brit award up for sale in 2015. He initially set the award on eBay with a view to buying furnishes for his farm in south Wales, having been using it as a doorstop- bids reached over PS1m before the auction was deleted by eBay.” All I needed was a bit of topsoil and it’s gone nuts ,” he said at the time.

S Club 7′ s fortunes dipped after their run of chart success. Cattermole left in 2002 to join an unsuccessful rock band, with the rest of S Club disbanding in 2003. Cattermole partially reformed the band in 2008 with Jo O’Meara and Bradley McIntosh, subsequently joined by Tina Barrett, though he left again in 2014. In December 2017, the remaining trio released a new single, Family.

According to former member Hannah Spearritt, each of them earned only PS600, 000 over the four years of their most successful period, despite producing millions of sales.

  • Such articles was updated on Friday 12 January- it previously stated that Abz Love’s auction was successful, but it was in fact deleted .

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Spotify faces $1.6 billion lawsuit from music publisher alleging copyright infringement

Spotify is facing a $1.6 billion lawsuit from Wixen Music Publishing, the publisher that represents artists like Tom Petty, Missy Elliot, Stevie Nicks and Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter first reported. The suit, filed December 29, alleges copyright infringement, specifically alleging Spotify is using thousands of its sungs without a proper license. The suit attempts at least $1.6 billion in damages and injunctive relief.

Before Spotify launched in the U.S ., the company made are dealing here with major record labels to obtain the appropriate rights to the sound recording copyrights in the ballads, the lawsuit countries. What Spotify failed to do, according to the lawsuit, was “obtain the equivalent rights for the compositions.”

The lawsuit goes on to say, “As a outcome, Spotify has built a billion dollar business on the backs of songwriters and publishers whose music Spotify is using, in many cases without obtaining and paying for the necessary licenses, ” the lawsuit alleges.

Wixen also alleges Spotify has “knowingly, intentionally, and repeatedly” reproduction those anthems over the internet to California residents.

This suit comes following a proposed $43 million settlement involving music rights holders and Spotify in a class-action lawsuit, Ferrick v. Spotify. That suit, Wixen alleges, “does not adequately compensate Wixen or the songwriters it represents.”

In that settlement, Spotify admitted to failing to obtain necessary statutory licenses to reproduce and/ or distribute musical compositions on its platform, the lawsuit says.

“Consequently, while Spotify has become a multibillion dollar company, songwriters and their publishers, such as Wixen, have not been able to somewhat and rightfully share in Spotify’s success, as Spotify has in many cases use their music without a license and without compensation, ” the lawsuit states.

I’ve reached out to Spotify and Wixen. I’ll update this story if I hear back. The example is Wixen Music Publishing, Inc. v Spotify USA.

//www.scribd.com/embeds/368281208/content?start_page=1&view_mode=&access_key=key-S6sOe6OWmqFsUSLfMu8M

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Radiohead rebut Lana Del Rey’s plagiarism lawsuit claims

After the vocalist said the bands lawyers have been relentless in their pursuit of publishing rights to her song Get Free, a representative has said no lawsuit has been filed

Radiohead have refuted Lana Del Rey’s claim that they have filed a suit against her that demands publishing rights to her song Get Free, thanks to its similarity to their song Creep.

After rumours of the lawsuit circulated, Del Rey had tweeted:” It’s true about the lawsuit. Although I know my song wasn’t inspired by Creep, Radiohead feel it was and want 100% of the publishing- I offered up to 40 over the last few months but they will only accept 100. Their lawyers have been relentless, so we will deal with it in tribunal .”

Listen to Lana Del Rey’s Get Free

A representative for Radiohead’s publishers, Warner/ Chappell, admitted they had been” in discussions since August of last year with Lana Del Rey’s representatives. It’s clear that the verses of Get Free use musical elements found in the verses of Creep and we’ve requested that this be acknowledged in favour of all novelists of Creep .” But they added that no suit has been filed, and Radiohead aren’t demanding 100% of the publishing, per Del Rey’s claims.

Watch Radiohead perform Creep

Del Rey alluded to the legal spat at a concert in Denver earlier the coming week, went on to say that Get Free was her” personal manifesto” and that” those sentiments that I wrote, I really am going to strive for them, even if that song is not on future physical releases of the record “.

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Facebook and Universal Music Groups new partnership will allow for user-gen videos with licensed music, new social features

Facebook today announced a first-of-its-kind licensing deal with Universal Music Group that will allow users across its properties- including Facebook, Instagram and Oculus- to use Universal Music in the videos they upload and share. The bargain will also enable Facebook to introduce new “music-based products” across platforms, also including Messenger, the companies said.

Deal terms were not disclosed, but existing cooperation represents the first time a major music company has licensed its catalog for videos and other social features across Facebook.

It means that Facebook will be working with Universal Music Group to ensure that artists’ work is protected and compensated on Facebook and its platforms. This will be done in a variety of ways, we understand, including by Facebook procuring rights to launch experimental social music features over time.

“There is a magnetic relationship between music and community house. We are excited to bring that to life on Facebook, Instagram, Oculus and Messenger in partnership with UMG. Music devotees, artists and novelists will all be right at home as we open up imagination, connect and invention through music and video, ” said Tamara Hrivnak, Head of Music Business Development and Partnerships at Facebook, in a statement.

“Together, Facebook and UMG are creating a dynamic new model for collaboration between music companies and social platforms to advance the interests of recording artists and songwriters while enhancing the social experience of music for their fans, ” added Michael Nash, Executive Vice President of Digital Strategy, Universal Music Group. “This partnership is an important first step demonstrating that invention and fair compensation for music inventors are mutually reinforcing- they thrive together. We look forward to Facebook becoming a significant contributor to a healthy ecosystem for music that will benefit artists, fans and all those who invest in bringing great music to the world.”

The companies aren’t detailing what sort of “music-based” products they may have in the works as a result of this bargain, but the move seems largely focused on helping artists better connect with fans- in particular by allowing fans to use their favorite music in their own videos, or by sharing their favorite songs. It will also dedicate artists the option to connect and build their community with music in other ways.

It’s easy to imagine how this bargain could help Facebook further its video endeavors, where it increased its focus this year with the debut of Facebook Watch– a dedicated portal for video.

The partnership could also help Facebook challenge other tech companies that operate in the combined music/ social space. This includes Spotify, which this year rolled out a new define of tools to help them manage their presence on the streaming service, track their releases, and connect with fans; as well as Musical.ly, which sold to Chinese social media giant Bytedance this year for >$ 800 million, and has a sizable and growing audience of young fans who generate their own lip-sync music videos.

The deal would also allow Facebook to fill out its newly launched “Sound Collection ,” is targeted at inventors, with well-known songs.

Universal Music Group already works with other companies, like Spotify and YouTube, so it’s not unprecedented for it to work with a social property.( Variety has the internal memoranda from UMG about the bargain, but it doesn’t include more specifics than the press release- it’s mostly just cheerleading the partnership .)

Facebook declined to share more information on its plans for new social features, when asked.

The company may have plans to do similar partnership bargains in the future, given its new aspirations. Those will likely be easier to obtain if it can prove out that it was able to boost music sales, merchandise or concert tickets by promoting Universal Music Group’s library.

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Gene Simmons: Ive never got high or drunk in my life

The musician and Kiss frontman, 68, on what he learned from his mother, what capitalism means to him and why hes so proud of his hair

I’m my own biggest fan. I’m delusionally fascinated by myself. I love the voice of my own voice. If you don’t feel like that, fake it until you believe it. If you like yourself, it’s the sexiest thing in the world.

My mom grew up in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. I say ” Nazi Germany” as much as I can, because I refuse to let them get away with it. She had a horrific childhood. But through her eyes I’ve learned to be positive and not cynical, and always keep moving forward. I got everything important from my mother. My entire moral code comes from her.

Success is about what you do with what you have . At school, they teach you that we are all born equal. That’s horseshit. School doesn’t prepare you for anything. Life has no regulations. Some people are born smarter; some people are born able to run faster. You’re not supposed to say that, but it’s true.Unfair, but it’s true.

Power isn’t a good or a bad thing , just like fire is neither a good nor a bad thing. You can cook your food with it, or it can burn you. Power is amoral. It’s how you use it. I feel the same route about guns.

In my 20 s I never thought about death . Now, at 68, I do. But when you insure the finishing line coming, you don’t stop. Look at Jagger! Looking at McCartney! If you stop, your heart starts to die. Lack of activity attains you die younger and poorly. I’m going to keep going until I drop dead.

My mother is ninety-two . There’s no secret to a long life I don’t think, just DNA. Manson just died after a long life, perfectly healthy. Mugabe is ninety-two9 23. Tom Petty dies in his 60 s in America with the best healthcare in the world. Prince even younger. But you can Do your best to Look after yourself. Everything your mom said to you when you were young was right; eat lots of veggies, get some sleep, don’t hang out with losers.It’s not cool, but she was right.

Kiss have sued lots of people [ for plagiarism] and won. But some people we don’t sue. We didn’t sue Bruce Springsteen for Outlaw Pete[ which takes the main tune for Kiss’s 1979 disco reached I Was Made For Loving You Baby ]. How do we choose who to sue and who not to? We like Springsteen. We don’t sue.

I’m proud of still having my own hair . It’s messed up from years of bad hairspray and breathing fire onstage, but it’s all mine. I’m grey, so I have to dye it, but it’s mine. Sadly, as the years pass, and the less I have on my head, the more I have on my back and my ass, and in my nose.

I got capitalism by running when I was very young. My mother worked in a sweatshop , no minimum wage, getting paid nothing, 7am to 7pm, six days a week. But there was always food on the table. Then I got a newspaper round and started making money. I have never seen anyone looking as proud as I was when I set the money I made from my first day down on the table.

I’ve never get high or got drunks in my life. I don’t like the taste of alcohol. I don’t like cigarettes. I don’t like narcotics. On the working day science tells me all of the above will stimulate my schmekel bigger or I’ll get smarter or construct more money, I’m right at the head of the line. But it doesn’t do that. If you drink too much, you’re going to throw up on the shoes of the girl. I don’t get it.

Gene Simmons The Vault is now at genesimmonsvault.com

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How I fell in love with country music | Martin Farrer

My life didnt change when I find the duelling banjos scene in Deliverance, but it was the first time I realised there was more to country music than the Benny Hill topic tune

My name is Martin and I love country music. There you go, I’ve said it. It’s not always an easy thing to do. When the subject comes up, I get a funny sort of look. Once you spring the c-word on people, you can see they’re thinking:” Shit, this bloke’s weird. Does he dress up like a cowboy at home and do those funny dances ?”

Sometimes people like to crack a gag about country and I’ve heard most of them. There’s the one that goes:” Do you like country? Or merely western ?” And then there’s: “Yeeeeehaaaaa!” People think that one’s pretty hilarious. But there is one gag which is quite funny and also very telling. It runs like this. Two blokes go into a saloon, somewhere in northern England. One of them, who is hard of hearing, goes to the bar to get some drinkings. The barmaid says there’s a band on, a country and western band. The bloke goes back to his mate and sits down with the drinks.” There’s a band on tonight ,” he says. The other bloke says” What type of band ?” The other one replies:” I don’t know. Some cunt from Preston .”

Sorry to reach you with another c-word but the punchline neatly reflects popular contempt for country music. The gag is perceptive in that a lot of what we call country music is irredeemably naff- chugging pop-rock with lyrics about beer and trucks sung by blokes with hats like Garth Brooks and Jason Aldean. But I also dislike the gag because it overshadows everything that I love about country. There’s no rollicking good-time tunes , no sorrow , no great tales , no downhome charm and definitely no joyous violin or pedal steel to set your spirits free.

The country I love is what it was before it was even called country music. It was first known as hillbilly or mountain music, or just traditional music, born of its roots in Appalachia where households would sit around taking turns in ensemble singing and playing. I can’t say my life changed the first time I ensure the Duelling Banjos scene in Deliverance, but it induced the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end and it passed to me that there must be more to that sort of music than the Benny Hill topic tune.

At that phase, growing up in Tyneside in the 1970 s, I wasn’t exposed to any country music, let alone banjos. At school you were either a heavy metal fan or a punk or mod. I was a metallist and that meant AC/ DC, Status quo, Led Zep, Whitesnake. Highway to Hell is not an obvious road to Appalachia but once my stone tastes moved to Bob Dylan, The Band and early 70 s Stones I’d saw my gateway drug: country rock.

The moment of my full conversion came when the NME, at its indy and hip-hop caring height, released a country compilation called The Tape With No Name. It featured people I’d heard of like Johnny Cash, but the opening track, Guitar Town by Steve Earle, truly was a life-changer. I loved the combination of its driving riff and country twang, and his outlaw drawl. Even only the way the lyrics ticked off the stops along the road from Tennessee to San Antone was thrilling and it promised to deliver America’s limitless the chances of excitement and renewal. It was rock’n’roll but not inevitably as I’d known it and seemed to distill everything I liked about music.

The rest of the cassette was superb too and introduced me to artists then known as new country such as Lyle Lovett, Nanci Griffith, Highway 101 and Dwight Yoakam, the tape’s enigmatic cover-up superstar. I was captivated by it. They rocked but they also had swing, great melodies, harmonies and, yes, violins, pedal steel and banjos. It also had great narrative anthems. Paradise by John Prine, for example, which charts the impact of strip mining in Kentucky, is the shutting track and is still as powerful and resonant today as it was when he wrote it decades ago. No one could ever accuse country of being pretentious, a trait I find endearing.

The Tape With No Name spawned a deep dive into the back catalogue and turned up the pleasure of George Jones, Merle Haggard, Gram Parsons, Guy Clark, and many more, plus a flowering of new bands such as Uncle Tupelo, The Jayhawks and Whiskeytown that would be become known as Americana. Female artists really stood out though. To my ears there’s nothing more beautiful than Emmylou Harris’s voice but others such as Lucinda Williams- a sort of female Steve Earle- Iris DeMent and the peerless, contemporary champion of traditional music, Gillian Welch, all showcase vocals in a way boulder simply can never do.

Over the years I’ve believed a lot about why I like country music so much. It passed to me that plenty of people have insured Deliverance, but perhaps never felt the same way as I did about that banjo voice. Why, I wondered? The answer, I suppose, is that country music is in my blood. The first settlers in Appalachia were from the Scottish lowlands and northern England’s rough hill country, which is more or less where my family is from too. Country music is their music and their tales about lost love, hard time and illuminating up the town have remained eternal. Country has a great sense of history so it’s easy to feel this sense of affinity and belonging. I do actually like “all sorts” of music, but there’s only one form that I was truly born to love. Yeeeeehaaaaa.

* Do you have a narrative about the moment of discovery when a pastime became a passion that you would like to contribute to our summertime series? Send your essay of no more than 800 words to cif.australia @theguardian. com.

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Hidden gems of 2017: great albums you may have missed

From hypnotic hip-hop to Japanese psych-rock, our critics pick some albums of 2017 that deserve a wider audience

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever: The French Press

( Sub Pop)

They say ” EP ‘, we say ” mini-album “. The six percolating tracks of this Melbourne band’s extraordinary March outing share literate space with a peer such as Courtney Barnett even as they hark further back, to the wry, loose takedowns of 80s masters the Go-Betweens. You never know exactly what this band’s three singing guitarists, Fran Keaney, Tom Russo and Joe White, are getting at on these obliquely crafted sungs. But lust, rancour and misunderstandings figure prominently, as do bejewelled guitar lines and a rhythm section that doubles as a perpetual motion machine. Kitty Empire

Mhysa: Fantasii

( Halcyon Veil)

This debut from queer black diva Mhysa, aka multimedia artist E Jane, is an experimental masterwork of industrial electro gratifies R& B. Largely self-produced, it has a sculptural, echoey sound, eliciting the abrasive beauty of smashed mirror glass, plus glitchy , nonchalantly confident bangers such as Strobe. The Philadelphia performer utilizes her lithe, light vocals to analyse sensuality, vulnerability, loneliness and, most of all, black femininity. With gloriously jarring nods to Beyonce, Janet Jackson and Prince, and striking spoken word interludes, this is a superb left-field album. Tara Joshi

Anna of the North: Devotees

( Different Recordings)

Anna
Anna Lotterud, aka Anna of the North. Photograph: Jonathan Vivaas

Lovers , the debut of Norwegian singer-songwriter Anna Lotterud and New Zealand-born producer Brady Daniell-Smith, cloaks a devastating breakup in soft-focus electro-pop. The gently pulsating title track dissects emotional numbness over supple drum beats; Someone is drivetime 80 s MOR via M83; while All I Want (” is your love and affection “) closes things on a suitably bittersweet note, Lotterud’s multitracked, unvarnished vocal adding a blank sadness. In fact, Lovers is so unfussy that on first listen it can clean over you, but there’s real beauty to be found on repeated listens. Michael Cragg

Aimee Mann: Mental Illness

( Superego Records)

Aimee
Conviction and grace … Aimee Mann.

Despite four decades as a songwriter on a par with Randy Newman and Elvis Costello, Aimee Mann rarely gets her dues. And Mental Illness , her ninth album, is a low-key yet major work. She picked the title to mock critics who ignore the diversity of her catalogue to label her a sad sack, but occupies depressive stoicism with total sentence and characteristic grace. The acoustic arrangings are light, her melodies indelible– the counterpoint to 11 beautifully melancholic anthems about addiction to extreme emotional states. Laura Snapes

Protomartyr: Relatives in Descent

( Domino)

Protomartyr
‘ Always obligating ‘: Protomartyr. Photo: Daniel Topete

The fourth album from Detroit post-punks Protomartyr is their most ambitious yet: lyrically tangential and musically dense, rich with ideas, depicting equally from the National and Les Savy Fav. The palpable sense of malaise conjured up by vocalist Joe Casey, by turns angry and vulnerable but always compelling, is perfectly complemented by the arrangements. Hooks are deployed sparingly, yet are all the more thrilling when they crash in. With the exception of Don’t Go to Anacita, there’s little here that’s immediate, but persevere and an exceptional album slowly comes into focus. Phil Mongredien

Kevin Morby: City Music

( Dead Ocean)

Wistful and pithy, Kevin Morby’s fourth album is a sepia-tinted tribute to New York. There are echoes of Lou Reed, Television and, on the homespun 1234, Ramones, but the singer-songwriter is never derivative. Largely he sounds sleepy, lost in his own guess, excited by the bright lights of the big city but fearful of facing life alone.” Ain’t got no friends in a world so big ,” he drawls on the dwell Come to Me Now, while the liquid title way revels in the energy of the sidewalk. Paul Mardles

Future: Hndrxx

( Epic)

Future:
Future: raps like he’s about to pass out. Photograph: Dustin Aksland

Dedicated to one of his many alter ego, dubbed Future Hendrix, Hndrxx ‘ s ascetic self-examination and croaky, metal flowing perhaps isn’t the ideal introduction if you’re unfamiliar with Future‘s weirdly hypnotic weep-hop esthetic. However, it’s the most coherent of the Auto-Tune king’s six albums, despite being somewhat overshadowed by the million-selling Future , released only a week before. It remains unclear if doing shedloads of downers and rapping like you’re about to pass out stimulates you the spiritual child of rock’s most exciting guitarist. Still, there’s just about enough evidence of generation-severing genius to call for a DNA exam. Damien Morris

Priests: Nothing Feels Natural

( Sister Polygon)

Most punk bands would die for the synchronicity that Priests achieved when their debut album landed the week after Trump’s inauguration. But although the DC four-piece had delivered funny, searing polemicals( even aimed at Obama’s unfulfilled promises) on earlier EPs, Nothing Feels Natural abandons sloganeering for a more introspective interrogation of how capitalism and chaos can debase anyone’s sense of ego. Happily, it’s nothing like as worthy as that sounds. Instead, it’s a raunchy rampage through surf rock, hardcore and sprightly punk-funk, led by firebrand Katie Alice Greer. LS

Kikagaku Moyo: Stone Garden

( Guruguru Brain)

Tokyos
Tokyo’s Kikagaku Moyo:’ an experimental fusion of global beats, jazz and stone ‘.

For fans of Kikagaku Moyo, a psychedelic rock band from Tokyo, this fourth album is a surprising break from the past. Stone Garden eschews the furious guitar flailing that has earned the band cult-like status in Japan in favour of an experimental fusion of global beats, jazz and boulder. It still explosion in places as guitars call away from the jazz-inspired bass lines, but there are also moments of tranquillity, heralded by the trill of the sitar and a haunting vocal rating. Leander Hobbs

Battle of Santiago: La Migra

( Made With Pencil Crayons)

There is no shortage of brass-heavy world fusion bands, but on their third album this Toronto collective conjure up a distinctive hybrid of Afrobeat, salsa and funk. The Santeria-style chants of Aguanileo and Barasu-Ayo attest to Toronto’s big Cuban community, while elsewhere the band explore dub on the clattering Cimarron, shows up skilful hard bop sax and African balafon, and squeeze in electronica and stratospheric guitar on Rumba Libre. The album title refers to the feared perimeter policemen whom the band clearly hope to vanquish if they play hard enough. Neil Spencer

Echoes of Swing: Bix: A Tribute to Bix Beiderbecke

( Act)

Behind a instead boring title lurks a fascinating define of modern reworkings of jazz classics from the 1920 s. Sometimes a simple change of tempo or rhythm style constructs the trick of jumping 90 years sound simple; in other cases it’s a whole new tune, hauntingly reminiscent of a tune remembered but just out of reaching. The playing is pitch perfect throughout. The second disc of this doubled situated contains 10 original tracks, beautifully remastered, had confirmed that remote generations can still talk the same jazz speech. Dave Gelly

Es war einmal … Once Upon a Time … Fairy Tales by Robert Schumann& Jorg Widmann

Clarinettist-composer
Clarinettist-composer Jorg Widmann. Photograph: Marco Borggreve

Tabea Zimmermann( viola ), Jorg Widmann( clarinet ), Denes Varjon( piano)
( Myrios Classics)

Once upon a time, a trio of top soloists pulled together an irresistible collecting of music illustrating fairy narratives. Robert Schumann’s Marchenerzahlungen, Op 132 for trio, his Fantasiestucke for clarinet and piano and his Marchenbilder for viola and piano capture both the lyricism and the dark side of German romanticism, the Grimm friends’ 1812 collect of narratives ever hovering in the background. Clarinettist-composer Jorg Widmann‘s spiky, delicate, musical ghost narratives, in this world premiere recording, make a mysterious, unsettling contrast. Ideal fireside listening, beautifully packaged. Fiona Maddocks

A Telemann Companion

Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin/ Jacobs
( Harmonia Mundi)

Much anniversary attention was given to Monteverdi this year, but Georg Philipp Telemann( died 1767 ), who eclipsed Bach in renown and fortune during the course of its 86 -year life, fared less well. This varied defined demonstrates” the three lucky cards dealt him by nature: precocity, facility, longevity “. There’s a complete opu, Orpheus , the popular Brockes Passion, and several quirky instrumental suites, including the famous Hamburger Ebb und Fluth . An absurd slip-up is that the box defined is described as celebrating the 350 th anniversary of Telemann’s death: early planning for 2117? Nicholas Kenyon

Sterndale Bennett; Schumann: Sonata Op 13; Symphonic Etudes

Hiroaki Takenouchi( piano)
( Artalinna)

Exhilarating playing here from pianist Hiroaki Takenouchi, who champions the work of the 19 th-century English virtuoso William Sterndale Bennett , and now tackles his demandingly muscular Sonata in F minor, Op. 13. The 20 -year-old composer devoted the piece to Mendelssohn as a bridal gift when he befriended him in Leipzig, where he also became firm friends with Schumann, who dedicated his masterly Symphonic Etudes to Bennett. It’s also played with great panache on this recording. Stephen Pritchard

https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/guardianmusic/playlist/6F2V9noQPAPCdAThpdALIh

What have we missed? Let us know about your favourite unsung albums from 2017 in the comments segment below, email us at review @observer. co.uk, or tweet @ObsNewReview by 4pm on Tuesday 19 December

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Sources: Apple is acquiring music recognition app Shazam

Update : this story has now been confirmed.

As Spotify continues to inch towards a public listing, Apple is making a move of its own to step up its game in music services. Sources tell us that the company is close to acquiring Shazam, the popular app that lets people identify any ballad, TV prove, cinema or advert in seconds, by listening to an audio clip or( in the case of, say, an ad) a visual fragment, and then takes you to content relevant to that search.

We have heard that the deal is being signed this week, and will be announced on Monday, although that could always change.

One source describes the deal as in the nine figures; another puts it at around PS300 million ($ 401 million ). We are still asking around. Notably, though, the numbers we’ve heard are lower than the $1.02 billion( according to PitchBook) post-money valuation the company had in its last fund round, in 2015.

In all, Shazam has raised $143.5 million from investors that include Kleiner Perkins, London’s DN Capital, IVP and strategic investors Sony Music, Universal Music and Access Industries( which owns Warner Music ). Kleiner Perkins also invested in competitor SoundHound .

Shazam last noted that it passed 1 billion downloads, but that was back in September 2016, meaning those numbers are likely higher now.

But in the world of apps, high numbers do not always translate into profits: In September 2017, Shazam reportedly made PS40. 3 million ($ 54 million) in revenues in its 2016 coming fiscal year, which was a turnaround from the deteriorations between FY 2014 and 2015. It made a statutory pre-tax loss of PS4 million ($ 5.3 million) in 2016, which was still a loss but significantly smaller than the PS16. 6 million loss in FY 2015.

The company’s CEO Rich Riley noted earlier this year, however, that operating at or near profitability is the intention as it’s been growing; and he also hinted that the company was, as a result, likely an acquisition target.

Shazam launched route back in 1999, well before the working day of apps, as a service you reached by way of a SMS code — in fact, its first name was 2580, after the number you typed in the UK to access the service.

Since those early days, it’s launched a number of related services. Artists on Shazam lets you follow famous people and consider what music they are Shazamming.

Its augmented reality brand marketing service lets you detect content based on pictures that you snap with the app. “You came for music, remain to experience McDonald’s Karaoke, MTN Dew VR Racing and much more, ” is the company’s pitching on this feature.

It also integrates with other apps like Snapchat and Apple’s Siri, and it currently sends lots of traffic to other music apps like Spotify and Apple Music, which pays it when those clicks convert to purchases.

It’s not clear what will carry on post acquisition, and which of these might be something that Apple would integrate into its own business( and how ), but it’s notable that much of what Shazam does is very synergistic with what Apple is working on already: AR, and more features to attract more users to the Apple Music platform.

Apple has attained dozens of other acquisitions, and one of the biggest has been in the area of music: it acquired Beats for$ 3 billion in 2014, which became the basis for Apple Music. That service has around 30 million users as of September of this year. As a point of comparison, Spotify has over 60 million paying subscribers, with 140 million overall.

We’ve reached out to Shazam and Apple for comment.

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Chris Rea ‘stable’ after on-stage collapse at Oxford theatre

Show cancelled after Driving Home for Christmas star, who had suffered a stroke last year, was nearing the end of a 37 -venue tour

Singer-songwriter Chris Rea has collapsed on stage in the middle of a song, only a year after suffering a stroke.

The 66 -year-old, who had a hit with Driving Home For Christmas in 1988, was playing the New Theatre Oxford on the 35 th concert in his 37 -leg tour when he suddenly clutched his microphone and fell to the ground.

The audience was told the gig on Saturday had been cancelled and the musician was taken to hospital by ambulance where he was later described as “stable”.

The New Theatre Oxford sent out a tweet following the incident 😛 TAGEND

John O’Hara, who was in the audience, said:” He had been playing brilliantly and then he merely collapsed. It appeared pretty bad. They pulled the curtain across and we all just waited until they told us to leave .”

A spokeswoman for South Central ambulance service said:” We were called at 9.30 pm to attend to an incident in George Street in Oxford. We had an ambulance crew on scene and one patient has now been taken to hospital .”

New Theatre Oxford (@ NewTheatreOx)

We massively appreciate everyone’s patience who attended the Chris Rea performance this evening. Please bear with the venue team whilst we seek farther updates for you. As soon as we have more news we will of course let everyone know.

December 9, 2017

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