Monday, March 13, 2006

Weekender : as much a true story as When You Wasn't Famous is

CHART OF DARKNESS: Chico's still number one, then, and come on, someone must be buying it, but it's all a bit strange underneath as with the Sugababes rooted to 4 second spot is taken by Orson, up three. All you need to know about them are a) the singer wears a trilby and b) he describes their music as songs "that girls can dance to". Alex Kapranos should sue, as well as Sugar Ray. Kanye West fails to back up his genius epithet with an obvious Move On Up sample at 6, still nobody's buying those DualDiscs as Billie Jean hits 11, Shapeshifters get to 12 somehow, Placebo have enough fans sticking around to take their new single to 13, Black Eyed Peas and Craig David start swallowing something hard and jagged at 16 and 18, the Rifles ride that Jam revival/Soccer AM constituency at 26, Fightstar are real at 29 and notably Jose Gonzalez's Heartbeats rearrives at 40 as the Sony Bravia advert reappears on TV. Hundred Reasons at 45? Are they still alive? The Like fail to pay back Polydor's investment at 75, eight behind Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me). Yeah, the Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel song. How many times has that come back out now, to the nearest hundred?
Albums wise, Dave 'David' Gilmour finds enough people willing to ignore the constant Pink Floyd reunion rumours, seemingly kyboshed by interview references to him now having fallen out with the rest of them, and takes his first solo album in 22 years On An Island top. His previous solo high was 17, which must demonstrate something profound. Why not leave him your congratulatory message? Mother's Day must be upon us, Andrea Bocelli has an album out called Amore which is at 4. Van Morrison, who seems to release albums with the regularity that the rest of us write letters, is at 8, one behind this baffling continued climb for Simon Webbe's album - he's not even got a single on the way as far as we know. Surely it can't be David Essex's first Greatest Hits at 14, Shakira only makes 22 despite the fervent support of half the contributors to pop message boards, the Delays outdo Morning Runner in the top 30, Mogwai (31) and Mystery Jets (32) both fall surprisingly short, or at least short of Leo Sayer's latest compilation (30) and the Little Willies are at 41. How many are buying that because it's Norah Jones with a country backing band, and how many are being sold as comedy 17th birthday presents?

FREE MUSIC: Difficult to know what the best thing about East River Pipe is, whether it be the man behind it being called FM Cornog, the idea that he was discovered sleeping rough by a good samaritan who gave him a porta-studio which he continues to use fifteen years later or just that he continues to churn out fractured, eccentric DIY songsmithery for album after album. The new one's called What Are You On?, from which comes Crystal Queen.

HEY YOU GET OFFA MYSPACE: People In Planes, literate Cardiff based outfit once known as Tetra Splendour (very much their Parva phase) pitched somewhere between Teenage Fanclub and Doves. Having both the Cooper Temple Clause and Jamie Cullum on your support CV is one thing. Having a video directed by Joaquin Phoenix is quite another.

VISUAL REPRESENTATION: "You got the stick!" In the week Nick Cave gets to show his awkward Zapata tache off in interviews to promote The Proposition, here he is in oddly restrained form performing Release The Bats with the Birthday Party in 1982.

EVERYBODY GET RANDOM: To tie up our two blog-centric obsessions, a news report on how AS Roma have taken up Seven Nation Army. Sing that bassline, Totti!

IN OTHER NEWS: The latest part of our short series of People Whose Blogs Are Written In A Syntax Much As You'd Imagine They Would Be, Kelis.

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