An update for the past couple of weeks.

Feargal Sharkey has resigned as Head Of UK Music – he has done an excellent job.
It appears as though Sony will get EMI Publishing, and Universal will get EMI Records.
Marty Bandier will be happy about the publishing.
Mawaca are playing in China.
There are ecomomic woes in Greece and Italy, and all of us with savings will see their savings decrease as interest rates become almost zero. Which countries will be next? Spain? Portugal?

I hope Adele recovers completely from her throat surgery. What a gorgeous voice she has.

I read in the Independent that there are 83 graduate applicants for every new job in the UK. That is quite shocking.
The basic food prices continue to rise.
There are huge problems in Greece, which could result in a domino effect in the rest of Europe.
The United States has a growing debt which most Americans do not seem to be aware of.
China owns a large amount of that debt…
28 June

Mawaca have been playing around Brazil over the past week.
Alex Tronic has finished his fine new cd.
27 June

I am not a golf fan, but there was a performance in USA by Rory McIlroy that was tremendous. He is a 22 year old from Northern Ireland, and he won by 8 shots.
19 June

I heard that Clarence Clemons has died – what a great “big” sound he got for Bruce Springsteen. He will be missed by many.
18 June

The ash from the volcano in Chile is still causing problems around the world.
There is torrential rain in China which is causing flooding and the evacuation of half a million people. This follows the long drought in China.
The food prices around the world are going to continue to rise.
The Syrians demonstrating against the Assad regime are very brave – going up against the army which is showing no mercy.
17 June

The show last night was different, but equally brilliant. Kaki’s fellow musician, Dan Brantigan, is a wonderful trumpet player. Their playing together on Zeitgeist was exquisite.
13 June

Kaki’s show at SESC Belenzinho last night was a sold out, brilliant concert.
12 June

Kaki played 2 songs live on the Gazeta TV show hosted by Ronny Von. A very interesting show which has been on for years. He used to be a singer, and is now an excellent TV host.
Mietek Pemper, the man who typed up Oskar Schindler’s list which helped save more than 1,000 Jews from the Nazis, has died in Germany aged 91. One of those unlikely heroes of life.
10 June

Kaki King is performing at SESC Belenzinho this weekend. These are the first concerts produced by the new venture between Miguel and myself called Musica Sem Limites.
9 June

Martin Rushent died. He was a great producer, who made many wonderful records by the Stranglers, Human League, 999 and many others. One of the songs was “Don’t you want me” – brilliant!
iTunes is reportedly coming to Brazil in October this year. There is hope yet for the legal digital downloads in Brazil…
7 June

John Legend played in Sao Paulo at the weekend.
What a depressing state the administration of world football is in. A bunch of old corrupt men holding on to power. How ridiculous they all are. And a world away from the likes of Messi.
31 May

Mawaca played again in Sao Paulo.
Manchester Utd lost in the Champions Cup to Barcelona – what a wonderful team.

We extended our agreement with Fairwood. Thanks Francis and Peter.
We have a new agreement with Circular Music from Scotland. Thanks to Adam.
11 May

We do indeed live in interesting times.
Osama bin Laden was killed in his compound in Pakistan. His native land, Saudi Arabia, refused to accept his body so he was buried at sea.
Many questions arise of course. How did the American helicopters fly over Pakistan without being challenged. How did he live there without being “discovered”. Why do I feel that it was right to kill him without a court case? Well, he had admitted his guilt, and showed no remorse over the multiple killings at the WTC in NYC. There is no desire to have a possible shrine to him. Better to let him disappear into the depths.
Now the good news. The wedding of Kate and William was great to watch. A couple in love, and a wonderful ceremony and pageant. Even for a non royalist!!
It appears as though Warners will be sold to a venture capital company. How will they increase the profits to make it a worthwhile deal?? Cut out the top people at the company? It appears to be the only saving left to make. And the most obvious one..
3 May

It is Virada Cultural this weekend in Sao Paulo. A wonderful day long event of music and dance and culture held in many different venues all over the city. A truly tremendous event!!!
17 April

We signed 2 more good catalogues this week.
Roba from Germany – thanks to Rolf and Christian.
P&P Songs from London – thanks to Paul and Peter.
We are looking forward to working with both of these.
U2 are playing in Sao Paulo this weekend. I hope they play some of the songs that Brian Eno co-wrote.
8 April

Brazilian music continues to dominate in payments of performance royalties in Brazil. In 2010, 77% of the payments were for Brazilian copyrights and 23% were international. During the past five years, the performance royalties paid out rose by 68%, and last year the increase was 9%.
5 April

I went to a great show at Auditorio Ibirapuera with Kiko, Joao, Lula and many other musicians. This is like a new wave of Sao Paulo music.
Very interesting.
4 April

BMG are still trying to buy Warners and EMI. If they do, then that will make an enormous difference in the world of music publishing.
A great internet radio site opened today in the UK.
http://www.radioplayer.co.uk
31 March

Morcheeba and Black Sabbath play in São Paulo this weekend.
There is continuing unrest in Syria, Jordan and Yemen. The opposition in Libya are utilising the air support from NATO and the rest of the coalition.
I am very happy to see so many of these old dictators coming to an end.
There was a big demonstration in London against the cuts.
I agree that the government should be made aware of the unhappiness of the majority of people. It is not this government who created the mess that Britain is in. It is the collective governments in the past few years. Some ministers, and particularly one prime minister, seemed to be working purely for their own pocket. And have done very well..
There was some violence involved in the demonstration. I understand the extremists anger, but do not approve of damage being caused, or attacks on police.
It is wonderful how the people in Japan are “getting on with things” so well, and honourably, and calmly.
26 March
Algeria and Yemen are having demonstrations to try to overthrow their existing regimes.
Best of luck to them!!!
The show in Sao Paulo with Miguel and Paulo Beto last night was great. Special guests included Akira and Mauricio.
13 February

Mubarak has resigned as president of Egypt. 30 years of power as a dictator. I wonder how much profit that his family have made from this time?
I hope that the military continue to support the people.
Israel amd the Palestinians will be watching closely.
SoundCloud now has 3 million users.
Warners have given possible buyers until the end of February to tender their offers.
Strange world we are in..
Miguel plays tonight in Sao Paulo.
12 February

EMI are now owned by an American bank… no more British owned major labels or publishers.
I remember going out to the EMI offices in Hayes, in the suburbs of London, to watch vinyl records being manufactured.
Now it`s a bank..
Funny days.
Who will buy the label and publishing company?
Lots of changes going on in the middle east.
We all have a problem in that this unrest creates an opportunity for al quaeda to sneak in and grab some of the disaffected.
A huge cyclone hits Australia. A mammoth snow storm covers half of north America.
Strange days indeed.
3 February

The Egyptian army have said that they will not use force against the demonstrators. This is big and important news. I hope that Mubarak goes soon, and quietly, and that the next few months will be peaceful and productive.
John Barry died. He composed so many wonderful and memorable and evocative film scores.
31 January

Another year, another Midem. I have to say that I do enjoy Midem.
I have the luxury of only needing to work with people that I like, so Midem is just spending time with people that I like.
Lots of interesting changes.
We renewed some agreements, and have some new agreements that we will hopefully sign in the next month or so.
Egypt is going through the death throes of an old regime, which has been propped up by the western governments for many years, and the birth pangs of demonstrators for freedom. I hope that the changeover, which is inevitable, is as peaceful as possible.
30 January

Giuseppe Lenti has finished his new cd – beautiful music.
Useless laws weaken the necessary laws. -Charles de Montesquieu, philosopher and writer (1689-1755) – how very true, and how many useless laws are still being written.

Mawaca played 2 shows at SESC Pinheiros in Sao Paulo at the weekend. Wonderful shows, and both were sold out.
17 January

The government of Brazil and the state of Rio seem to have reacted very slowly to the disaster.
16 January

There is more heavy rain in Brazil today, and there are many more dead. The images of the mudslides are horrendous.
People power still works. The president of Tunisia has been forced out by the Tunisian people. He did have 23 years in power so will not be short of cash…
14 February

There are now over 350 dead in Brazil and, sadly, many more are missing.
There have been 35,000 deaths in Mexico over the past 4 years in drug related violence.
The banks in USA have foreclosed on over 1 million homes in 2010.
It is little wonder the banks and bankers are making such obscene profits.
13 January

There are dreadful floods and mudslides amidst heavy rains in Brazil also – over 230 people have already died.
I was listening to Elvis Costello – Man Out Of Time, and Almost Blue are such brilliant songs.
We signed Mauricio Takara. He is the leader of Hurtmold, and also performs with many other musicians in various formats.
12 January

The anti-fraud firm MarkMonitor monitored illegal traffic levels on 43 file-sharing sites and found that they generated more than 53 billion visits per year. 53 billion per year!!!
MySpace is struggling. They have fired almost 50% of their workforce.
When you look at the horrendous floods in Queensland, the murders in Tucson, the murders in Mexico that are ongoing, the problems in many countries in Africa, then the Wikileaks furore seems even more surreal. Why are the Obama and US governments spending so much time and money on trying to prosecute the founder of Wikileaks?
There are many more problems that they need to address rather than some leaked cables which have not really told any new facts. They have merely verified what people knew, or thought.
The banks in UK are proposing more HUGE bonus payments. I find this obscene. We all like to receive a bonus, but the amount of these are a slap in the face to all of those people being affected by the cuts in the budget.
10 January

HMV are closing 60 retail stores in the UK. The CD and DVD formats are fading rapidly.
5 January

Gerry Rafferty died. He is known for his songs like Baker Street. I first saw him when I went to the Troubadour for the first time in Earls Court and heard the Humblebums. Rafferty and Billy Connolly. Magic. I had no idea who they were or who they would evolve into. They were just brilliant.
4 January

There are some musicians and singers and composers who transcend their time and genres.
Jimi Hendrix, Pablo Casals, Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Beethoven, Leonard Cohen, Billie Holiday, Captain Beefheart, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Lucinda Williams, Paul Kelly, Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson, Otis Redding, Bob Marley…
2 January

Happy New Year. I wish everyone good health and success and happiness.
We have a new president in Brazil – Dilma Rousseff. I hope that she is very successful and can bring much needed change for the better in Brazil in education, health, infrastructure and taxation.
Brazil needs to clean out the corruption which is prevalent among the politicians and justice system.
Manuela D’Avila is an upcoming politician to take note of in Brazil.
1 January

Favourite albums of 2010… not many unfortunately.
Tired Pony
Arcade Fire
The Coral
David Sylvian
Brian Eno
31 December

I read a nice story today. Bob Marley came to Brazil in 1980, and besides playing a concert, he also played football with Chico Buarque and Toquinho. 3 great musicians playing football together!!!
19 December

Don Van Vliet has died. Captain Beefheart was one of my most favourite musicians ever. Although some of his music I can only listen to once every 5 years. Especially Trout Mask Replica.
John Peel introduced his music to me.
Anton Corbijn took a wonderful photograph of him.
Assange is free on bail. I am very happy about this.
The cost of bail does seem excessive. £200,000, no passport, reporting to the police every day. Accused of having sex without a condom – there must be quite a lot of men who could be accused of this, especially in Catholic countries. I am not in any way belittling the charges of rape as I think that it is one of the most heinous crimes a man can commit.
I am not a fan of Paul McCartney`s solo music. However, I think it is brilliant that he will perform at the 100 Club in London in an attempt to save it. I saw so many shows there. Including a trad jazz show that I took my father to. Punk, rock, jazz, blues.
17 December

Tonight is the last night of Larry King show on CNN in USA.
I used to like his programmes when I lived in US.
Nelson Mandela, Ross Perot and lots of others. I liked his style of letting guests talk. I prefer it to the in vogue style of interrupting and trying to find the pointed questions.
15 December

Billy Bragg wrote a good piece in the Guardian today, and offered the following about the students who are protesting the increase in student fees in the UK “This is the first generation to have the opportunity to create a form of socialism that is not tainted by totalitarianism.”
I signed Billy to his first publishing deal – rather a long time ago…
Musical notes themselves once varied in pitch from country to country, but were standardized in 1939. I did not know this until I read it in Delanceyplace. Mozart wrote music that is nowadays played almost a semitone higher than when he wrote it.
I am very pleased to see Michael Moore so openly supporting Wikileaks.
Voyager 1 is now 17.4 billion km from earth. It was launched 33 years ago, is travelling at 17 km per second!!! and radio messages take 16 hours to get back to earth. It is almost out of our Solar System. These statistics are just so staggering.
We now sub-publish Nellie the Elephant – a song that I grew up with…
14 December

Charles Leadbeater wrote a very interesting article on Cloud Culture, and the ramifications and dangers as well as the opportunities.
It is very pertinent to the current situation with Wikileaks, Assange, and the US government.
It is astonishing how many laws we seem to need. There are so many new laws being written. I wonder how we managed a few years ago with so few laws to protect us… but protect us from who?? … the themes of the V for Vendetta movie suddenly seem more real and possible.
I saw a very good concert last night – Phil Minton and Han Bennick. Moments of brilliance.
12 December

Today is Human Rights Day – sadly there are still so many people whose rights are being violated.
The same day that it is being reported that the US goverment are going to try to extradite Assange to stand trial in the US accused of espionage, it is announced that the US will host UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day event in 2011. What a bizarre situation, and how bumbling the US government are appearing. They are creating a martyr out of Assange.
I am very pleased that Lula has come out in favour of Wikileaks.
10 December

The battle for Wikileaks is fascinating to watch. Why are the US government not targeting the NYT, the Guardian, the BBC and CNN. They are all reporting whatever has been exposed.
Wikileaks should be supported by anyone who dislikes lies, secrecy, and misinformation.
Paypal, Mastercard, and Visa have the right to refuse to let Wikileaks have accounts with them. That is how their business operates.
However, I think it was wrong to suddenly stop the accounts without giving some sufficient notice.
I hope that Wikileaks finds a new form of donation acceptance soon.
I do not approve of all of the online attacks against these credit companies, but I totally understand the frustration of many people who think that the enemy is not Wikileaks but the people who are committing the actual crimes.
The security lapses by the US government are quite staggering.
What ineptitude!
Why are the government making airline passengers go through rather degrading and definitely time wasting security checks when other departments are giving away all the secrets??
I am disappointed that Obama has not called a halt to the attacks by the US government. But sadly not surprised.
The women who brought the rape charges against Assange should not be attacked. It appears that they were victims.
Bug just got a nice synch for us for Humanity in Grey’s Anatomy.
We got a very nice synch for She in a new Canon commercial – nice commercial.
I am listening to Hats by The Blue Nile – what a beautiful record.
8 December

China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iraq and Iran are among those countries that have refused to attend the upcoming Nobel Peace Prize ceremony for Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, according to the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
There has not been much to praise for peace in this past year. However, the reaction from the world`s most repressive countries above would seem to indicate that the prize is going to the right person.
The founder of Wikileaks and Wikileaks itself are under assault by governments and politicians around the world. I understand that Wikileaks is committing illegal acts, but so are so many of the governments and politicans who are complaining.
A lot of these governments talk about being transparent. Obviously their definition of transparency is different to mine.
Julian Assange has been charged with rape – a very serious crime – but I feel that he is being found guilty without a trial.
Tom and Jimmy finished a very successful tour of Japan.
Christmas is coming soon. Some years do not feel very festive. This year feels more reflective than festive.
There do not seem to have been any great records released this past year. At least to my taste.
7 December

Tom Verlaine starts an acoustic tour in Japan with Jimmy Rip.
29 November

It is bizarre to watch on live TV the Brazilian army and police surrounding one of the favela complexes in Rio.
Men and women wander past the armoured vehicles carrying their supermarket shopping.
I think that if the world would legalize drugs, then there would be much less criminal gangs.
Think of all the taxes that the governments could raise instead of spending so much money fighting the drug gangs.
It is a simplistic view but the policy of making drugs illegal is not working – look at Mexico, Afghanistan, Colombia and the huge market in the US and Europe…
The US government is nervous about another bunch of Wikileaks documents. I think that it is brilliant that these secrets are being revealed. The governmens should be concerned at some of the contents, and not the fact that they are being leaked.
28 November

Doghouse Roses
The new Willard Grant Conspiracy album “Pilgrim Road” is set for release in the Uk and Europe in May 2008. The album has already made the Uncut Playlist;

“WILLARD GRANT CONSPIRACY
Pilgrim Road (Loose)
Sombre,imperious,awash with lush orchestration,gospel choirs,and poignant songs of yearning and redemption – Pilgrim Road sounds like a magisterial career high for Robert Fisher’s ever-mutating collective.” UNCUT April 2008

Willard Grant Conspiracy Pilgrim Orchestra
With Special Guest Howe Gelb

May 2008