CHART OF DARKNESS: Wasn't the relaxing of download chart rules supposed to mean more climbers to number one and less entering at the top straight away? For the second time a number one makes history through new technologies with a connection to the word 'crazy'. Gnarls Barkley, a reference that makes no sense to large swathes of the British population but there you go, is/are luckily more palatable than the frog of yore, topping the chart on 33,000+ downloads alone. Come to think of it, does this have a video yet? For such a high profile release we've not seen hide nor hair of one yet, and we're wondering what the last number one not to have such an accompaniment was. In this week when the Saturday morning 11.30 music slot has been abandoned after seventeen years we recall Stardust's Music Sounds Better With You topped the chart in the Chart Show's penultimate week and they had to sling a load of their old graphics together as a tribute/filler.
Elsewhere we find Morrissey equalling his all time best of number 3 and the Streets' number 8 looking worse than it might but better than it deserves. Depeche Mode, who must have been waiting all their career to make a record called Suffer Well, are at 12, that unnecessary Mary J Blige/U2 version of One lines up for bigger things as it hits 19 on downloads and Milburn ride the gritty Sheffield wave they've seemed all too keen to embark upon to 22. Two very odd entries near the bottom of the top 30 as the much feared UK Theme reworking greatly improves on the number of people who'd ever heard of it before it was dropped yet still only makes 29 - that'll be the Mike Flowers effect - one behind Tribute To Jinky, that being former Celtic great Jimmy Johnstone, the lead track a cover of Dirty Old Town with Simple Minds recorded two years ago for his battle against motor neurone disease. How JK & Joel tackled these two we really, really want to know. Despite being trailed as his best work in years, whatever small relief that is, Prince only manages 43, Andy Abraham fails to recaptue the album form at 63, David Gray now finds days pass by without him being necessary at 71 and Sigur Ros' Hoppipolla, off the Planet Earth trailers, re-enters the top 75 a month of its inevitable re-release. In the album chart Embrace pip Massive Attack to the top, three number one albums out of five now, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs better their previous best by six, Kooks climb 24 to 9 on the back of that Tom Baker-voiced advert showing on music channels with monotonus regularity and Be Your Own Pet find a berth at 46 in among a horde of sale-aided climbers, more of which tomorrow.
FREE MUSIC: Le Sport, inevitably, were called Eurosport until the TV channel had words. They're a duo from Stockholm and sound much like a lot of Scandinavia's recent output, being unafraid of calling itself techno-pop but knowing its Proper Indie moves, the result being akin to just pre-Ibiza New Order led by a less wordy Stephin Merritt on It's Not The End Of The World.
HEY YOU GET OFFA MYSPACE: Airstrip One are from Leeds, which means they're a year too late for New Yorkshire. The NME would have had them for those all-important genre crossover purposes, however, as they fit well in the almost-hardcore lineage of ¡Forward, Russia!, yourcodenameis:milo and maybe Youth Movie Soundtrack Strategies.
VISUAL REPRESENTATION: Darren Hayman may have been re-evaluated after the Hefner Best Of release last week as Britain's great lost forensic evaluatory songwriter, but clearly it's not got him anywhere financially as the setting for this performance of Caravan Song from his recent solo EP proves. Is that unneccesary beard growth we detect?
FALLING OFF A BLOG: The ever reliable for classic bootleg mp3 site rbally is shutting down soon, so get in quickly for Pavement live at the Paradiso, Amsterdam in 1997, including a cover of The Killing Moon.
EVERYBODY GET RANDOM: Someone had to do something with that BT text to landline Tom Baker thing eventually, but at least they're being clever about it - The Doctor Sings
IN OTHER NEWS: We got passed the address of video site BrainloveTV on in the week, possibly because it's just added footage of our new best mate Jeremy Warmsley performing his new single in his kitchen, but some rooting around finds a Final Fantasy video we'd never seen, live Kid Carpet, the celebrated Johnny Cash Hurt, Winona Ryder playing Jon Spencer and all manner of goodness and oddness in almost equal measure.