CHART OF DARKNESS: Lily Allen Who Has A Blog In Which She Gives Opinions is still number one, Shakira, who doesn't, is at 2. See, BMG, there's an avenue that needs exploring. Rogue Traders, on which nobody seems to have noticed the reinterpretation of Steve Nieve's Pump It Up organ riff for guitar, is at 3 and the now not mad Busta Rhymes is at 8, which means in these post-Michael Jackson re-release days, and what a great success that was, the highest new entry proper is Shayne Ward at...14. How seasons change. Rihanna's radio colonising Unfaithful, the video for which seems to us to last a week and a half, is in on downloads at 16, James Dean Bradfield's not especially different from where the Manics seemed to be heading anyway solo debut is at 18 - you know already it'll urinate qualitatively all over Nicky Wire's effort, of course - and Dirty Pretty Things go skiffle at 20. Gnarls Barkley, who've put two videos out for Smiley Faces for no good reason, and James Morrison, who we dearly hoped would be Jim Bob from Carter USM but apparently not, have top 30 entries alongside Nylon, proving that even in these dark days of pop being support act at virtually every enormodome girl band show still gets you some of the way. That all means Lidl Arctic Monkeys Milburn, Rooster post-hilariously misjudged AOR recast and Richard 'children are our future' Ashcroft are in the lower end of the top 40 and Plan B misses it altogether, as does Sean Paul. Not even these temperatures can help him now.
Odd goings on in the album chart where Thom Yorke getting the dark electronica out of his system on his own this time only enters at number 3 behind Muse, obviously, and both less obviously and less welcomely, the Kooks, who go on about loving Brighton so much you could almost believe Luke Pritchard wasn't from Forest Hill. Ray Lamontagne finally makes the top ten, while two very different piano men are in the top 20, a rejigged version of Billy Joel's Best Of at 16 one ahead of the Guillemots' sonic explorations. Fittingly, there's a Pink Floyd album back at 42. Unfittingly, it's Dark Side Of The Moon. At least read the obits before purchasing in memoriam!
FREE MUSIC: Everything stops when the Matador Records mp3 page is updated, and especially so when last update it threw up a track from the new Yo La Tengo album I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass (you heard), out September 4th over here. Beanbag Chair is, as is YLT's wont, decidedly letftfield and indeed a happy medium, buoyed by a brass section and ultrasunny melody. Presumably the twelve minute feedback freakouts are in the second half of the album.
HEY YOU GET OFFA MYSPACE: Timely, this as we've had Misterlee in our Myspace list for a while before they thoughtfully spammed us the week before last. Although technically a trio Misterlee is for the most part the vision of Leicester's Lee Allatson, who here takes up "vocals, boomy bass drum and a rattly snare, Space Echo, maraca, tambourine, laughing bag, Electro Harmonix Space Drum plus many other instruments and real-time FX deliveries". Mmm. Well, anything that reminds us of prime Dawn Of The Replicants while sounding like the Moldy Peaches backing Tom Waits, except even less stylistically predictable, is fine by us.
VISUAL REPRESENTATION: Our run of Top Of The Pops performances continues not with some vintage Captain Sensible as planned, as we've just discovered it's been removed by the user, the bastard, but with something equally 80s and transiently, dumbly nuts, the Timelords' Doctorin' The Tardis. Supposedly the idea of Ford Timelord, Jimmy Cauty's 1968 Ford Galaxie police car, this was the number one that gave Bill Drummond the idea for The Manual, his guide to having a chart topper that as far as we know has only been publicly followed to the letter by Edelweiss, whose Bring Me Edelweiss made... number five. Where's that money back guarantee now, Bill? Anyway, Gary Glitter joined them on the Christmas TOTP but understandably that's not on here. We sense those Daleks are not drawn up to Terry Nation's original plans.
FALLING OFF A BLOG: God knows what's going on between the music, but Friday Night posts a varied and excellent selection of music, even if it is stored on Rapidshare.
EVERYBODY GET RANDOM: From the file marked 'interesting links hanging around our big list for far too long': American site Popmatters interviews Nigel Blackwell of Half Man Half Biscuit.
IN OTHER NEWS SPECIAL - THIS WEEK ON SWEEPING THE NATION...: Over the next seven days we're going to be focusing on a special event in the STN-centric calendar, with previews, reviews and the odd feature or one. You'll have to wait until tomorrow for its commencement, but suffice to say...