CHART OF DARKNESS: Nelly Furtado's still number one, Shakira, who appears to be playing constantly 24 hours a day on some music video channel or other, climbing to 2. Muse's death disco is at 4, with Sergio Mendes and the Black Eyed Peas at 6. Oddly, Mendes, hardly a household name to be fair, has been getting quite a bit of TV advertising for his new revisits album, which debuts at 27. You write one song that's quick and easy for VT editors to stick over Brazilian football footage, and look what happens. Lostprophets, a band whose own video we've often had to restrain ourselves from shouting 'but you're not moody LA emo, you're Welsh!' at the television from, are at 8, with the quietly popular in the way the Charlatans used to be Zutons at 9, with the album up 14 at 8. The Pussycat Dolls, who aren't even pretending to be much they're not any more, are at 11, Kooks have a download entry with a right wet lettuce of a song at, oh good god, 14 while Naive is back up at 26, All American Rejects pretend they're nu-emo too (what happened to emo that meant Rites Of Spring, Promise Ring and Sunny Day Real Estate?) at 18, Ne-Yo slips under everyone's radar again with a download entry at 21, the really good Lupe Fiasco is at 27, the Young Knives don't quite chart high enough to carry out the 'promise' of getting The House Of Lords to play TOTP in his pants at 38 and Editors see the folly of their re-releasing ways as Blood slips in at 39. Remember how Jamie Foxx was going to be the biggest multimedia star in ever? Even a Kanye co-credit can't help his single above 43. Continuing our earlier theme about how different the charts look now there's nowhere for such bands to promote their singles Liberty X are at 47 with this week's next big thing of British soul Keisha White at 48. Mind you, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs can only manage 53, one ahead of Ricky's late effort at a World Cup song. There's still some of those down for release next week!
Keane hang on in the albums with Fatboy Slim's best of at 2 and, proving we're turning into the American chart model where one hit single can catapult an album well above its station, the Automatic at 3. The Dixie Chicks climb into the top ten while Shakira and even Dannii Minogue manage to outdo Madonna's first ever live album. What's the point of that, then? The Divine Comedy and Hope Of The States chart between 41 and 50 but let's concentrate instead on Triniti, who are seemingly a kind of Dublin girl band Clannad and really repay that supposed five million euro record deal at 32. Where's your power now, Wogan?
FREE MUSIC: If there's one thing leftfield singer-songwriterism doesn't need it's another one who claims their first name only to be M. Following M Craft and M Doughty, then comes M Ward. Hailing from the town where every single inhabitant must by now be in a literate indie project, Portland, Oregon, he's clearly a man in tune with the alt-country set texts and the disturbing neighbour ethos of Tom Waits, Conor Oberst, Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous, Giant Sand's Howe Gelb and the great underrated Americana voyeur Vic Chesnutt. Post-War is his fifth album, released in August 22nd in the States. If you've taken all that in, you'll know which ballpark you'll find To Go Home, a Daniel Johnson cover with Neko Case on backing vocals, in.
HEY YOU GET OFFA MYSPACE: We should by rights be making great big pyres of early 80s Orange Juicealikes by now, but what saves Bricolage from the discard pile is how they've taken what you might term the other primary Collins/Kirk influence, the desire to make a modern soul groove from jangly guitars rather than just the jackhammering element. We also note with indie kid glee that their first single will be on Creeping Bent, station alpha for this kind of thing a good ten years ago.
VISUAL REPRESENTATION: In the week Andy Warhol's wig sold for $10,800 we might as well look at it in action in Curiosity Killed The Cat's Misfit video, but that's not what we're all here for. Instead, for the six weeks it has left let's see what Top Of The Pops ephemera we can find online, starting with Public Image Ltd doing Death Disco in 1979. What must the dads have made of it?
FALLING OFF A BLOG: We deliberate for ages over what to link to and write in this section every week when clearly all the encouragment you actually need is the basics of what it does, more often than not some interesting writing accompanying interesting mp3s. Like Let's Kiss And Make Up, for instance.
EVERYBODY GET RANDOM: Following last week's homage to John Cooper Clarke, you'll hopefully be in the mood to hear the assorted offcuts from his official site audio page - a VH1 1998 session, his Independent radio adverts, The Massed John Cooper Clarkes Of Carnaby Street from the NME C81 tape and some rare live recordings.
IN OTHER NEWS: Let's not forget the people who ensure we labour under this title - Spearmint have a new album on the way, and here's the first single's video.