CHART OF DARKNESS: Gnarls Barkley now top both trees, meaning a) the immediate end of two burgeoning cult underground careers (Danger Mouse was hardly the main selling point of the Gorillaz album), b) more money than Gordon Gano has seen in his life as the Violent Femmes' Gone Daddy Gone is on the album and c) a rapid curtailment approaching of Crazy's shelf life as a hit everybody seems to like. The Noughties alt-trailblazer footnote race is won by Raconteurs at 4, one ahead of Dirty Pretty Things, with Snow Patrol, who, by the way reviewers, haven't always sounded like that no matter what your glib 'same path' line states, at 7 and the not as popular as they think he is Tom Jones with Chicane at 8. Inevitably the highest download entry is the Chili Peppers' "will this do?" at 12, notably outside the top ten despite that Top Of The Pops special and a mountain of press, ahead of Beatfreakz going straight to square one and sampling Michael Jackson (albeit through Rockwell, although the video forgets and spoofs Thriller instead) at 21. Despite TOTP interest the golden age of Finnish pop-metal is over as HIM only manage 26, which means those unheady days of MTV2 texters declaring they should play more of them as Ville Valo is like sooooo fit are surely over.
As mentioned not even his Woolworths adverts could keep Shayne Ward at the top for two weeks, and he nearly gets taken by Bruce Springsteen's low-key Pete Seeger covers album too. Rihanna surprisingly converts her singles success to number 6, with other top ten entries for Emmylou Harris' unwise duets album with Mark Knopfler and self appointed loverman, which we can't be alone in thinking is more than slightly unbefitting a man solely famous for impersonating Ray Charles, Jamie Foxx. Taking Back Sunday continue the march of the emo-lites at 18 with Panic! At The Disco also making their top twenty debut. Slightly better them than Led Zep cribbers Wolfmother, the band who make the Datsuns seem forward thinking, who are at 25. The Nerina Pallot push, which helpfully obscures how last year she'd have been labelled The New Dido and left to rot, didn't work as Fires enters at 41.
FREE MUSIC: They're actually New Yorkers, but Group Sounds have an air of that kind of Swedish power-punk that aided the Hives to briefly straddle the globe. We're not quite sure what Belly Up most sounds like - XTC's Mayor Of Simpleton? Joe Jackson's Is She Really Going Out With Him? Costello's Lip Service? - but it's barely complicated quick fix new wave revival goodness in any case.
HEY YOU GET OFFA MYSPACE: Still in the mood for expansive outfits that utilise a full range of instruments and have their own semi-dreamy lyrical world? Meet Anathallo, a Michigan septet who've been around for quite a few years mixing the Modest Arcade Social signature expansive, sharply turning indie sound with subtle horn sections, Sufjan-esque delicacy, complex, shifting arrangements and a range of oddly deployed instruments including chains, bells and anything that makes a noise when hit. Their album's out here in July and they're touring to promote it, including popping by Truck Festival. Round about then we suspect you'll be hearing a lot more from them, if anyone can get their head around them.
VISUAL REPRESENTATION: Just to celebrate May Day, a double helping of appropriate anti-capitalism from prime Gang Of Four, a propulsive To Hell With Poverty on the Old Grey Whistle Test and Damaged Goods for Germany's semi-legendary Rockpalast in 1983.
FALLING OFF A BLOG: This is how the blog community works. We're fans of Jamie's Runout Groove, which has recently housed an ongoing Pulp retrospective, Chris Cunningham videos for the Auteurs, Neil Young, Sparks, the Specials, the Manics and suchlike. From there we learnt about Tower Of Song, a site that tries to put the music it loves into context without really veering into that overanalytical Pseud's Corner candidature that blights so many writers who attempt to focus on just the music nowadays.
EVERYBODY GET RANDOM: Surely there's no way that Graham Fellows could have claimed in the mid-90s that John Shuttleworth and his extended family were real people seeking a proper label contract, but the ever alert WMFU has got the best out what they supposed to be a hoax by posting their 'demo tape'.
IN OTHER NEWS: PETA have launched a World's Sexiest Vegetarian online poll for god knows what reason, other than perhaps to prove that all the accepted pin-ups of the day might as well be gnawing straight from a live cow. Behold a Sexiest Man poll that includes Ian Parton from the Go! Team, Jamie/Hotel from the Kills, Jason Trachtenberg of the titular Slideshow Players, We Are Scientists' Keith Murray, Russell from Bloc Party and, magnificently, Barney from Napalm Death. We suspect Chrissie Hynde, for all her work, might not quite win the Sexiest Female section, although at least she's more likely a candidate than two members of Tilly And The Wall.