CHART OF DARKNESS: The singles top four are as you were in a chart largely affected by the Brits - Kaiser Chiefs, James Blunt and Kanye West back in the top 40 - but also by plain old befuddlement, Will Young back in the top ten just because while Liz McClarnon, whose venture under her own name we thought had been about as warmly received as Davina McCall's, has the highest new entry at 5. She's not dating Fran Cosgrave again, is she? Friday Hill, Goldfrapp and the thought long passed by the national conscious Magic Numbers are also top 20 entries, Boy Kill Boy refuse just yet to pay back on the energy put into them at 26, Rhymefest fail(s) to gain too much from Kanye's input at 32, OK Go do the dance at 43 and The Research gain probably the most lo-fi top 50 entry in some time. The album chart has, as expected, an even more pronounced effect from the midweek exertions, actual Best Album winner X&Y up 13 at 8 but not outselling climbers Employment (not a great deal short of Whatever People...), Eye To The Telescope, In Between Dreams and Demon Days. Paul Weller's entire back catalogue is boosted but it's still good to see the Jam's no longer merely compact Snap, which does feature the proper versions of everything, entering at 10. We can't work out whether Beth Orton at 24 or Panic! At The Disco (seriously, don't overdo those titles) at 25 is more surprising.
FREE MUSIC: Sing-Sing's second album Sing-Sing And I was made with the help of fans' bank balances, not that you'd tell from Emma Anderson and Lisa O'Neill's development of their 60s girl group sound into something resembling, well, a less fuzzy Lush. Come Sing Me A Song demonstrates what we mean.
HEY YOU GET OFFA MYSPACE: We're surprised more haven't picked up on Some By Sea. Pitched somewhere between the Decemberists and folky REM, debut album On Fire is released this week in America. Your turn, Pitchfork.
VISUAL REPRESENTATION: There's plenty of Tom Waits to go round, including an excellently shot live concert from Amsterdam in 2004, from which we pick the Muddy Waters-meets-Seven Dwarves of Don't Go Into That Barn.
BLOG ROLLING: Assistant Blog isn't purely musical, but it makes a lot of sense throughout.
EVERYBODY GET RANDOM: We do tend to mention our review of Summer Sundae from last August quite a bit, largely because we think it's one of the best things we've ever done. We've got our ticket for this August's three days already, and we suggest you do too. In the meantime, part one of CanTV's long delayed documentary is now downloadable, featuring KT Tunstall, Ist, the Dirty Backbeats and, you'll be glad to know, no sign of us.
SECRET LIVES: Given we were talking to someone the other day about how we bought a Contempo single off eBay for 50p long before their singer Richard Archer came back with Hard-Fi, we thought we'd let everyone share the joys. From 1999, produced by Mick Jones, Contempo - U B Naughty
IN OTHER NEWS: If you're like us, you'll be spending much of these long winter months sitting back in an appreciably well stuffed favourite armchair, drawing heavily on something suckable and wondering "y'know, whatever did happen to Peter Brame?" You remember Peter Brame - he was the bloke from the second series of Fame Academy who seemed to believe he was actually Pete Doherty, all red military vintage jackets and wistful mumbling and later appropriately scaled down versions of famous woman squiring (Fearne 'Fearne Cotton tattoos' Cotton) and crack smoking. In fact, in the week we chanced across aninterview he gave Now! last July - regretful but getting on with a new band, you get the idea. Then... we found his Myspace page. Suffice to say his solo material sounds like what it is, that is to say co-written by members of Republica and Gay Dad.
UPDATE! UPDATE!: Silence Is A Rhythm Too has that Maximo Park/Field Music/J Xaverre remix referred to yesterday