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The week in music: fines for Blurred Lines, unheard Kurt Cobain and more

posted Mar 13, 2015, 11:29 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Mar 13, 2015, 11:43 AM ]
Tshepo Mokoena  theguardian
Friday 13 March 2015 11.07 EDT



What we learned in the world of music this week, including the lawsuit between Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and Marvin Gaye’s family, an unreleased Kurt Cobain track and the death of Gong’s Daevid Allen
Kurt Cobain recording in Hilversum Studios, holding Takamine acoustic guitar

There were no blurred lines (sorry) around this jury verdict. On Tuesday, Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams were ordered to pay Marvin Gaye’s estate almost $7.4m (£4.9m), when a jury decided Thicke and Williams could be considered guilty of copying Gaye’s Got to Give It Up when writing Blurred Lines.

In a further blow for both Williams and Thicke, the lawyer representing Gaye’s family hinted at plans to block sales of the song until all parties can come to an agreement on how its future profits will be shared. If only they’d been able to block the incessant radio airplay of the track over the summer of 2013, and spare us all the repetition.

Just a quick note for human beings everywhere: sometimes it’s possible to be affected by multiple facets of discrimination at the same time. That’s basically what intersectionality and intersectional feminism mean. Madonna didn’t seem to have a handle on the concept when she told the gay publication Out magazine that women, after gay men and African Americans, represent the last frontier of discrimination. So … some people can’t fall into several of those categories? Ah, of course – there’s no such thing as a brown lesbian or disabled person who might still be battling for the recognition of their basic human rights. Sure.

"It’s moved along for the gay community, for the African-American community, but women are still just trading on their ass. To me, the last great frontier is women."

Banks has partnered with Google Chrome to release an interactive video for her new song Wallace. If you’ve got a working webcam and watch the video on Chrome, you’ll find yourself popping up onscreen with Banks. It’s creepy and wonderful.

Brett Morgen, the director of the forthcoming music documentary Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, has said that it will feature a previously unheard acoustic song by the Nirvana frontman. Undoubtedly, Nirvana fans and detractors alike will weigh in with their thoughts once it’s made available.


Last week we learned that Hall & Oates were unimpressed with Haulin’ Oats cereal. This week, the German electronic act Kraftwerk are at the centre of a copyright wrangle with a start-up company based in Dresden that wants to release a product called Kraftwerk – which is the German for “power station”.

You’d think that Justin Bieber’s two filmed N-word moments would have served as a caution for millennials tempted to spout old-fashioned racial slurs on camera – alas, not for members of University of Colorado’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity chapter. They were shown singing jubilantly about lynching black people in a video leaked on Sunday, and the footage prompted rapper Waka Flocka Flame to cancel his forthcoming performance for the chapter members. The halycon days of SAE frat boys chugging beers with Waka Flocka are well and truly over.

Fleetwood Mac fans eagerly awaiting new recordings would do well to simmer down. Stevie Nicks, according to drummer Mick Fleetwood, is in no major rush to work on new material. But other band members are writing plenty of new songs, and the band are currently on a massive North American tour – the good stuff will come, don’t you worry.

Apparently he’s fine (and very resilient), but was driven to hospital after what local news outlet KCCI was describing as an altercation with his brother, Andrew Thomson. Mick suffered a stab wound to the back of the head, but Iowa police on the scene told Billboard and KCCI that neither sibling’s injuries were critical.

Finally, in the week’s sad news, Allen’s son Orlando Monday Allen confirmed the guitarist and singer-songwriter’s death on Facebook. Daevid had been diagnosed with cancer and had announced in February that he had been given approximately six months to live.


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