Monday, March 20, 2006

Weekender : stone cold on Austin

CHART OF DARKNESS: As if it wasn't distressing enough that Orson have climbed to number one, it's become the first number one to sell less than 20,000 copies. That's physical (roughly 6,000!) and downloads together totalling 17,694. So much for the digital inclusion improving the lot of the singles chart, eh? Oddly, or not, this doesn't appear to have had any publicity anywhere, and it makes the fact the top three were seperated by 334 less taut than it looks. At 3 are the Black Eyed Peas, climbing 16 on the basis that last week was the first that the Official Charts Company started counting downloads a week before physical release, which also applies in the cases of 'new' entries Girls Aloud (80 to 6), Joey Negro (47 to 11) and James Blunt (54 to, um, 23) and will come into force for Pink (49), Sean Paul (53), Nelly (59) and Yeah Yeah Yeahs (80) next week. Isn't this early iTunes release schedule affecting the high chart entry positions the major labels want? The proper highest entry is piss-poor R&B balladeer Ray J at 13, with Jacko's Beat It at 15, Massive Attack at 17, the still little actually cared about Hilary Duff at 20 and Kelly Clarkson at 21, with Ne-Yo (cf Ray J) at 18 on those pesky advance sales. That still corking Battle single enters at 37, lovely Transgressive Records' second top 40 score after the Young Knives last month, with Be Your Own Pet also making a top 40 debut one higher. Mark Ronson's much debated cover of Just only manages number 48, KT Tunstall finds the album bled dry with an entry at 52 and the Foo Fighters just forget to tell people about No Way Back which peaks at 64.
It's the album charts that make the news this week as three housewives' favourite tenors - Watson, Bocelli and Grigolo - make the top ten at the same time for the first time ever. Luckily none are number one, Corinne Bailey Rae instead climbing to the summit now the TV ads have kicked in. Placebo enter at 7, Barry Manilow's ominous sounding Greatest Songs Of The Fifties is at 14, Graham Coxon fails by four to follow his last album's top twenty success, Fightstar do well enough at 28, Donald Fagen finds his niche audience at 35, Mike Oldfield's Platinum Collection baffles most of us as to what might constitute a compilation of Oldfield hits at 36, two albums called Gold: Greatest Hits are in at 41 (Righteous Brothers) and 42 (Carpenters), Cyndi Lauper's irritable presence on several TV shows over the last week is explained by her singing The Body Acoustic at 55 and Numanoids must be dwindling in number as Gary's new one only manages 59.

FREE MUSIC: So let's take advantage of these SXSW mp3s while they're still up. Do you remember folktronica? An idea of what it should have sounded like is provided by Sam Duckworth of Southend, better known as Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. Supposedly with a trail of A&R stretching the length of that road full of venues in Austin after his shows there, Whitewash Is Brainwash shows the intelligent singer-songwriter brought up to date approach off. He's about to support OK Go. We don't know, you ask him.

HEY YOU GET OFFA MYSPACE: Aberdeen City prove how much of an influence Interpol's Turn On The Bright Lights has been sure enough, but less gloomy, more vulnerable vocally and more expansive musically. Weird support slot number two: they're currently hanging around parts of America with the Go! Team.

VISUAL REPRESENTATION: Up to date, that's us - Billy Bragg does A New England on Conan last week.

EVERYBODY GET RANDOM: Man with HTML awareness realises Arctic Monkeys are from north of England, acts accordingly

IN OTHER NEWS: Since we were talking about the Summer Sundae bill last week, we might as well mention the first set of confirmed bands: Belle & Sebastian, Elbow, Jose Gonzalez, ¡Forward, Russia!, Long Blondes, Brakes, Young Knives, DJ Format, Vashti Bunyan, Seth Lakeman, Blockheads, Baxter Dury (might those two be playing on the same day, perhaps?), Delays, the Buzzcocks, Adem and Absentee. Later in the week, if we remember, we'll go back to our full festival list from a few weekends ago and update what we know about who's playing everywhere else.


Iain said...

Great lineup, what time does it finish each night usually?

Simon said...

About 11, for local residential reasons (the main rump of bands start between 5 and 7 on Friday and midday at the weekend). Elbow are Friday headliners, Belle & Sebastian Sunday, and nobody's quite sure about Saturday - Gonzalez has been named in the publicity as a headliner but that doesn't sound right to me, and De Montfort Hall's mini-site has him down for the Sunday too.

Iain said...

Thanks very much! And it indeed doesn't sound likely or him to be headlining.
I was going to say that that sounded good but it turns out that the last train back to London is at 10pm even on the Friday, I guess that I could camp like a normal person though.

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