CHART OF DARKNESS: Although starring with Woolworths' puppet dogs may yet give him his comeuppance - who buys new records at Woolies nowadays? - Shayne Ward can't stop the Gnarls Barkley juggernaut, and frankly it can only be downhill from here. An actual contender to take over next week is Rihanna's SOS, which we can't help feeling might have shocked the producer when they found out from where they had to clear the sample, which accidentally cashes in on a trend of the day just on downloads at 5. There's also new top 20 entries for Hard-Fi's barrel splinters, the clearly not as cared about as everyone thought it'd be Jamie Foxx, the inevitable Jacko and, from somewhere or other, Trina, but all of this pales against the curious news that, despite no extra promo effort this week that we can make out, It's Chico Time has climbed 13 to 13. Has it just dawned on people who he is? Fall Out Boy's distressing chart career looks set to continue as they have a download entry at 26, just ahead of Gorillaz, not even helped by news of their 'split', Studio B and Lorraine, another of those bands feted by all the pop media except the bits that actually matter to pop-buying kids. Another top 40 download entry comes at 34 from Infernal, a lame dance anthem attempt subject to post-ironic selling from Colin Fucking Murray. At least it keeps Mark Morrison down at 46, and while he still believes he's an Innocent Man nobody else is being quite so quick to trust him. Maybe he should get a lookalike to record his next single. The Crimea's Next Big Thing status has been well and truly made defunct as White Russian Galaxy enters at 51 and the Flaming Lips are at a pleasing 56 on downloads.
Another inevitable fan-driven number one sees The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living debut at the top of the album chart - what will the next album be about, that's what we want to know. Learning to cope with the aftershock of fame? A horde of climbers, led by Kooks at an unlikely number three, colour the top end with Hayley Westenra being the latest off-radar popera high entry. We couldn't name anything on The Definitive Don Williams: His Greatest Hits but it's at 27 nevertheless. Sort it out, Official Charts Company.
FREE MUSIC: This has been going round the blogs in the last couple of weeks, but sod it, it's great, largely because Eiffel Tower come from the American off-kilter harmonic tradition that previously brought us Grandaddy, Pavement and Apples In Stereo, all of whom are reflected in the title track from their debut album, Smallish Things. They might just be about to take off, and those of us who felt slightly disappointed by a lot of the more recent hyped American indie albums (evening, Wolf Parade) have a lot to look forward to if they do.
HEY YOU GET OFFA MYSPACE: Again, this band show many signs of being about to colonise their given sector, so even though the name's been bandied about you can help us pretend we were really there first and everyone else is wrong. The 1990s are signed to Rough Trade, supported Franz Ferdinand on their last tour and comprise ex-members of the Yummy Fur and V-Twin. You can see why Franz would want to co-opt the local competition beyond Alex and Paul's associations with the former, being a less jerkified version of their artglampop stamp.
VISUAL REPRESENTATION: It's not just the English speaking world that stick everything they have on old VHS tapes of interest onto YouTube - from Holland's famed Pinkpop festival in 1987, Husker Du's heavily scuffed up cover of the Byrds' Eight Miles High
FALLING OFF A BLOG: More podcast interview business this week with Audiovant, who have already bagged CYHSY!, Tapes'N Tapes and Jens Lekman.
EVERYBODY GET RANDOM: We're fans, as you'll know, of the wonderful folly that is Yo La Tengo's annual WMFU improvised covers evening, and now they've stuck a "Best-of, or Best-of-the-Worst, or Worst-of-the-Best, or... oh, what's the use, it's dreadful" out called Yo La Tengo Is Murdering The Classics - syntax, gentlemen and lady, syntax! - seemingly on website mail order only.
IN OTHER NEWS: Let's share the joy of something we chanced across in the week - ages and ages ago we bemoaned the decline of Poptones, who in their fairly early days chanced their arm with Beachbuggy, occasionally dual-drummer matching boiler suited Doncaster surf-punks - a small section in your local record shop - who released a corking Steve Albini recorded album called Sport Fury in 2001 and a remarkably adept single called Kickin' Back from it. And here it is! For free!