Music in the News

We don’t need no education?

Madonna’s foray into the African education sector has hit a bit of a snafu. Malawi government officials are claiming to be “fed up” with her lack of consultation regarding her intention to open 10 new schools in the country in partnership with non-profit group buildOn. This is not the first time Madge has butted heads with the government; officials were equally angered last year when Madonna scrapped plans to build an academy for girls without informing the proper authorities. “Now she decides to announce that she plans to build 10 schools without getting authority from us again,” said Ministry of Education spokeswoman Lindiwe Chide. “We now feel like this is all about propping up her global image and not in our interest.” Trevor Neilson, president of Global Philanthropy Group, has denied the accusations, saying that Malawi’s minister of education was indeed informed of the plans and that buildOn had “cleared all plans for school construction with them.”

They ain’t too proud to sue, either

Sixties Motown group The Temptations have filed a class action lawsuit against Universal Music Group seeking unpaid royalties on digital downloads. The group claims that downloads and ringtones count as licences, which would mean they would be entitled to half of all the net receipts from those sales. The suit covers a variety of other artists signed to Universal Music Group’s label who would also be entitled to compensation should the court find in their favour, including Eric Clapton, Guns N’ Roses, Nirvana, the Police and the Who.

Is this the tiny town from Footloose?

Boston police have decided that moshers at a Flogging Molly show at the House of Blues last February violated safety rules and have cited the venue for their security personnel’s lack of intervention. The police report details how 60 concertgoers participated in “aggressive mosh pit dance,” which resulted in people getting slammed against each other and knocked to the floor. “Dancing is a First Amendment right, but the behavior itself is a violation, especially when it becomes dangerous and a public safety hazard,” a police spokesperson told the Boston Herald last week. In a statement addressing the citation, the House of Blues maintained that the safety of their patrons was a top concern and that they were actively working with city officials to “address concerns about moshing and other forms of expressive dance.” In response to the incident, the House of Blues has put up illuminated signs throughout the club stating that moshing is no longer allowed.

I’ll believe it when I spot it

Napster founder Sean Parker, speaking at SXSW last week, said some things that definitely raised eyebrows, with one of the more boisterous statements claiming music streaming site Spotify will “overtake iTunes in terms of contributions to the recorded music business in under two years.” Parker, who has reportedly invested $15 million in the streaming service, claimed that the sluggish nature of the Apple music site will be its downfall. “Even the iTunes store, to this day, is so slow. I’m amazed,” he said. Parker may not be blowing smoke, as it was reported last week that Billboard magazine now uses stats from streaming sites like Spotify and Rhapsody to partially determine which artists will comprise its “Hot 100” chart.

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