CHART OF DARKNESS: Oh, good god. Batten down the hatches, everyone, as Sandi Thom's paen to times she doesn't seem to understand the function of, or indeed the idea behind - note the digs at corporate record labels and the Internet age - has gone to number one. Only Sk8er Boi-style literal readings of the lyrics on blogs can save us now. Everybody's picked up on the PR angle, but let us remind you that this got to number 55 last October on a tiny Scottish label the old fashioned way, ie Johnnie Walker played it to death on Radio 2. All the same, we must ask again who's actually playing it this time round, as it was only this week that it entered the airplay top twenty. Keane stall at 3, Pink's undistinguished R&B-rock bad crossover is at 5, Ronan Keating drags arch folk traditionalist Kate Rusby down with him at 6, Paul Oakenfold forgets how many different dance movements he's been at the forefront of and churns out a slab of soulless Deep Dish/Bodyrockers-cribbing 'rock'-house with Brittany Murphy autotuned as far down as possible at 7 and Nelly Furtado's Little And Large-style attempt at post-Aguilera hard R&B is at 8 on downloads. And here come the German-baiters! Is This The Way To The World Cup, which doesn't make sense, is at 11 - give it a rest, Tony - and god knows who bought Stan Boardman's World Cup record to take it to 19. The Germans bombed his local chip shop, we hear. That one line of act has sustained him for more than thirty years, ladies and gentlemen. Leann Rimes' 'sexy makeover' which looks oddly like her last makeover can only take her to 22, the baffling popularity of the Automatic will have to be examined in full detail for next week as they're on downloads at 23 and we suspect Loleatta Holloway's probably not aware Love Sensation's been remixed and taken back to 37 yet. That model who pretended to sing it with Black Box will want royalties. Corinne Bailey Rae establishes herself as this year's Snow Patrol as Trouble Sleeping only makes it to 40, Lordi and Prince at 59 and 60 is a fun juxtaposition given the latter reputedly dumped his Black Album fearing satanic overtomes, and Gomez really boost that Summer Sundae headline slot with a number 66 single. Why is Jamiroquai's Space Cowboy at 71?
Orson have the number one album. Orson. Were we alone in thinking they were destined to be New Radicals/Andreas Johnson-style one hit wonders, given there's hardly been a rush of people taking to the streets to proclaim this album's vitality? Nina Simone is back in the top ten for reasons beyond us, the Futureheads don't confuse enough people with their new direction and land at 12, AFI, who are now essentially Fall Out Boy with less knowing haircuts, are at 16, the Upper Room continue to worm their way into the nation's conscious by osmosis alone at 50 and Breaks Co-Op underachieve again at 55. Never mind Zane Lowe, that bloke self consciously grooving in his own mind while wearing headphones on TOTP probably did for their image.
FREE MUSIC: We've mentioned Piano Magic on here before, the This Mortal Coil-style shifting band behind which Glen Johnson pens minutely observed music and darker observations, minimal indie buffed to a shine and then dirtied up again. Except on their last album Disaffected they took a turn for the more melodic, or at least relatively so, Love & Music (64kbps, we know, but you'll live) sounding like a close relative of Talk Talk before being gatecrashed by Slint.
HEY YOU GET OFFA MYSPACE: James Chant, leader of Cardiff's Swipe, seems to have been busy recently playing bass with James Dean Bradfield and teching on Art Brut's colonisation of the rest of the world, but somewhere along the line he's found time to produced some rather lovingly intense electronically enhanced but still properly constructed songs, what looks like a recently added set of demos up there now. You can't help thinking this is what the much-vaunted Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly should ideally sound like given his press, if that's not damning with faint praise.
HEY YOU GET OFFA MYSPACE EXTRA: Oh, and in between all that he's been collaborating with Cardiff-via-Brighton songstrel Gwenno. Yes, the same Cardiff-via-Brighton songstrel Gwenno whose day job is as one of The Trio We Seem To Mention On Every Weekender These Days. This nascent side project is very much worth the effort, though, being as one of the two downloadable tracks sounds like Múm remixed by the Postal Service and the other resembles Annie covering Sweet Like Chocolate.
VISUAL REPRESENTATION: Those who saw the Saturday apologetic posting over on our Myspace will know that we're stoked, as our young friends say, about November's Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band tour. This follows January's 40th anniversary gig now available on DVD (nuts trailer here) and gives us the perfect excuse to stripmine YouTube for I'm The Urban Spaceman on Beat Club, Canyons Of Your Mind on Colour Me Pop, Look Out There's A Monster Coming on Do Not Adjust Your Set, Hunting Tigers Out In 'Indiah' from same, Little Sir Echo on something or other of variable quality and an even rarer Mr Apollo of even worse quality, plus Vivian Stanshall's Ruddles advert.
FALLING OFF A BLOG: Another very promising recently launched blog comes in the shape of Keep Hope Inside, which has just finished a Great Escape review and also talks up Jamie T, The National and Artrocker's compilations.
EVERYBODY GET RANDOM: It's just an audio montage of John Peel introducing the Fall, really
IN OTHER NEWS: We mentioned yesterday how great Mission Of Burma's The Obliterati is, and the album website, as well as the usual streams and that have created a Wiki to pull together the band's history. It's not the most fleshed out or coherent thing you've ever read but represents something of a way forward for band-user interaction. And we bet they don't put 'The Band With Their Own Wiki Pages' on a sticker on the front of the CD either.