The Latest! Rdio, Soju, Manic, Archuleta, Trapped In the Closet, KCRW, Musk, Madonna…

These are the stories we’re tracking late in the day. Check back for late-evening and early-morning developments.

Looks like Rdio is cooking a mobile-focused launch; look for an imminent announcement.

There’s another music celeb jumping into the startup game.  Justin Bieber is now an investor in Soju Studios, a charitable gaming concept.  Bieber is joining Ellen Degeneres to support the first title, WeTopia.

They were posing as rap executives, but the hits were of a different sort.  Now, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and DC Metropolitan Police have shut down Manic Enterprises, along with 70 ‘label execs’ and $7 million worth of narcotics.

Sorta like Ma$e, but only for two years.  Now, David Archuleta is putting his singing career on hold for a mandatory Mormon mission.

It was written, but now what?  R. Kelly has finished penning 32 additional chapters for the classic hip-hopera, ‘Trapped In the Closet,’ and is now seeking backers to take things to the next level.

Actually, this is rocket science.  KCRW‘s latest guest DJ is SpaceX (and Tesla) CEO Elon Musk, who’ll share his latest space-age playlists.  SpaceX is currently working on an unmanned space capsule that will fly to the International Space Station next year.  

Spanish police have made an arrest in connection with the leak of Madonna‘s latest single, “Gimme All Your Luvin,” slated for a special Super Bowl debut.  So far, this is being identified as being a fan with a very valuable hard drive, and police have only released the initials ‘J.M.R.’ to the media.  Which begs the question, ‘how did the fan get access to the drive in the first place?


The Weekend: exfm, Backplane, Whitney, Wilson, post-SF, OK Go, MSFT, Ultra, Thrillcall…

The Weekend: exfm, Backplane, Whitney, Wilson, post-SF, OK Go, MSFT, Ultra, Thrillcall…

These are the stories we’re watching this holiday weekend. Check back for ongoing updates and new developments.  Also, if you think we’re missing something, just add it below!

First, the funding front.  It happened quietly, though the little extension-that-could exfm has just raised another $1.5 million from Spark Capital. 



Which complemented a $4.5 million round for Backplane, cofounded by Lady Gaga manager Troy Carter.  SV Angel and Google Ventures are were among the leaders of that series A, with the first iteration expected to be  The broader vision is a community platform focused around interests – and one that pushes beyond music. 

Heard playing at the Whitney funeral this weekend: “Drama” feat. Bobby Brown, who was escorted out of the ceremony in Newark after clashing with Houston family members.  The Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson were apparently attempting to smooth ruffled feathers – and for more on that, we go to TMZ.

So what’s the post-SOPA sentiment? Lots of ‘what’s next’ discussion, including a well-circulated opinion by power-VC Fred Wilson, who this week suggested a privately-created and enforced blacklist. That is, free of government oversight, FBI raids, and egregious international oversight, while lacking that ferocious enforcement bite that everyone hates.  

And, we’re still sifting through a mountain of notes and footage from SF MusicTech Summit from this week.  That includes OK Go digital strategist Mike Rosenthal, who noted that YouTube only produces a ‘trickle’ of revenues, and a flurry of music elevator pitches.  Coordinator Brian Zisk is uploading sessions onto Soundcloud now; meanwhile we’ve heard some American executives contrasting the fairly cheap-n-easy SF MusicTech to the far more pricey-and-complicated Midem

I think I read this before (in 1998), but it looks like Microsoft is starting the wheels on a new music service.  According to details tipped by C|Net’s Greg Sandoval, the service will be geared towards Xbox and Windows Phone customers.

Looks like the Ultra Music Festival is becoming a global roadshow. The event just announced expansion dates beyond its Miami roost into Buenos Aires, Ibiza, Seoul, Sao Paolo, and Warsaw, with Bayonne, NJ also on the shortlist.

Also on the live circuit, event-focused Thrillcall has just launched an iOS app that pushes ticketing deals to fans, including enticements like drinks, special access, etc.  The initial launch is happening in San Francisco, with Los Angeles the next hop.

More ahead…


Leave a Reply