All posts tagged Rolling Stone
Bits & Pieces: Just when you thought it was safe to buy EMI, Legal-Eagle Don Henley & Bug Music still for sale
Another potential wrinkle appeared in the current auction of EMI this week, with the reappearance of Guy Hands, who is taking legal action to recover documents explaining the basis for Citigroup‘s takeover of the music company in February of this year. According to initial reports, Citi tapped PricewaterhouseCoopers to handle administration of the takeover process, and Terra Firma is now taking action against both parties after previous unsuccessful attempts to acquire a satisfactory explanation. After Hand’s courtroom defeat at the end of 2010, it was believed that the EMI takeover would not come until closer to summer of this year, given the debt-payment schedule, however the bank took action in February, after rumors in January that they were already shopping for buyers. So far Citi’s response to the initial sentiment that this new twist could cause a serious problem for their auction of the music group, was to indemnify all bidders currently pursuing EMI, according to the Financial Times. Some insiders are wondering if this isn’t just more posturing from Hands in an attempt to strike a blow against his former lender, particularly after recent widespread speculation that EMI could fetch a much higher price than originally believed. Considering the scuttlebutt earlier this year was that the abrupt takeover came as a result of threats from his own investors, one in particular, the answer might be yes… This latest development surrounding the EMI auction, comes after talk that the looming copyright termination battle royale, is also effecting the bidding process, though most observers share that neither issue will likely have crippling outcomes… Meanwhile, continuing his rounds with the press as artist-spokesman for the copyright termination topic, Don Henley speaks to Rolling Stone about the copyright law, options that artists have and how the record companies are not going to take it lying down… And according to the New York Post, independent music pubco Bug Music is taking second-round bids from interested parties, including KKR-backed BMG Rights Management, Ole Music and Imagen among others…
Somewhere along the line in the last month or two, news of a few indie signings seemed to somehow slip through the cracks. Most particularly Vagrant Records, who has been busy adding much buzzed about LA combo Active Child to their ever expanding and diversifying roster, along with inking one bona fide legend, Polly Jean Harvey, for her new album – quite a coup. The LA label has done an excellent job of branching out beyond the emo niche it was once known for, and have developed an ‘A Class’ stable of indie rock acts that includes Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Hold Steady, STARS, School of Seven Bells, and of course Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. PJ Harvey’s new album Let England Shake hits stores February 15, while Active Child’s debut should look for a release in the spring.
Meanwhile, what seems like ages ago (and probably was!), blog favorites DOM from Massachusetts signed on with EMI-offshoot, Astralwerks, with a re-issue of the band’s Sun Bronzed Greek Gods EP slated as their first release in early 2011. And now split from EMI and back in the ranks of indie, Mute Records announced that the first artists to sign to the new version of the label include Yeasayer, Londoners S.C.U.M., and Texan singer songwriter Josh T Pearson. Meanwhile in the past week, Sub Pop announced what seems be the 50th new signing for the year, indie-rock supergroup (with members of Man Man, Modest Mouse & Islands/Unicorns) Mister Heavenly… And what of the free agents out there? Rumors are looming of an announcement about The Head and the Heart signing to a certain Northwest indie (which seems public knowledge but still hasn’t officially been announced)… Will Odd Future sign with XL Recordings, who appear to have been laying out the red carpet for the controversial LA hip hop collective (including reportedly flying their entire posse to the UK)… What will become of Bright Eyes? This past week details of their forthcoming album The People’s Key (due February 15) were announced. Following the record, which is their last for Saddle Creek, will the project be done, or will Conor Oberst follow the path of his solo projects by bringing Bright Eyes to Merge? Or will it be another indie (such as was the case with Monsters of Folk)? And slowly emerging (and pricking up people’s ears) is the fact that critically acclaimed Seattle singer-songwriter Jesse Sykes (and the Sweet Hereafter) is in the market for a new label home, after a number of much beloved releases on Seattle’s Barsuk. Sykes supposedly has avid fans at both small and large labels, indie and major, and a with a new record in the can, chances are she won’t remain unsigned for long.
Of course, since we are now in the waning days of 2010, most of the news in the music media concerns the ubiquitous year-end lists – one of the first being NME‘s top 75 albums. There is no disputing the UK rag’s choice for their album of the year – These New Puritans Hidden – was baffling, and has had more than one pundit scratching their heads (possibly even the band’s label), but hats off to Domino Records for nabbing that top spot… Subsequent lists from Spin and Rolling Stone (and surely many others) have been released, and as to this column’s picks for the year’s favorites? Well, that will just have to wait until next time…
- Cool Hand Luke