CHART OF DARKNESS: All in all, this is Shakira's fourth week at number one. Gnarls Barkley aside, nobody's managed more than that since James Blunt nearly a year ago, yet do you remember how it goes yet? It must be a slow sales week as there's some unlikely records behind her, the bog standard Chamillionaire at 2 holding off clubland 'classic' David Guetta vs The Egg and, most unlikely of all, the Arctic Monkeys, who have a chart eligible single not go to number one for the first time. Conor McNicholas was doing some press the other day in support of The Horrors (who are shit, but you knew that) and gallingly had a go at the Arctics for "not playing the game". Older readers may recall the days when the NME loved bands purely for not playing the game. Cassie and Micky Modelle, which we couldn't identify if our life depended on it, also enter the top ten, Alesha fails to make the impact everyone expected at 14, Ronan Keating makes the Goo Goo Dolls' already terrible Iris even worse at 15, Maria Lawson - she was in X Factor, apparently - is at 20, the arse drops out of the Chico market at 24, the Young Knives have the weather turn on them at precisely the wrong moment at 35, the Sunshine Underground's lack of visible fanbase doesn't preclude them from 39, the Futureheads don't deserve 52, the Spinto Band would ideally be better than 54 and Pharrell's bad solo word of mouth ensures a download entry no higher than 57.
Christina Aguilera's curate's egg, wherein being more grown up apparently only stretches so far after all, still sees her with a number one album in a week so slow that The Feeling are allowed back into the top ten. There's another Mamas And The Papas compilation at 21, Captain at 23, another low-key Lambchop album at 43 and another X Factorite, Andy Abraham, calls his album The Impossible Dream and has it proved correct at 67, while Shayne Ward bizarrely goes back in up at 36. Well, they said his success would last after all. Are they giving them away at the door somewhere?
FREE MUSIC: When we were having our highfalutin ideas about a Summer Of Spector which revolved around, as we recall, four bands - it's more than comes under New Rave, to be fair - one was Memphis Industries picking up the second album by Gothenburg's El Perro Del Mar, a one-woman lo-fi Brill Building invoker. The dreamy God Knows (You Gotta Give To Get) shows her off perfectly.
HEY YOU GET OFFA MYSPACE: Bloody hell, another Cardiff outfit. That's, off the top of our heads, five we've featured in this section in the last couple of months (don't count them for us, we know we're wrong). Yossarian deserve to be near the top of the surely forthcoming A&R feeding frenzy, taking the Smiths/Shins influences that everyone seems to quote now and adding the US lo-fi traditions of Pavement and Modest Mouse, Broken Social Scene guitars and the normality-tinted lyrics of the Rakes. Plus Invincible has a lyric about horse racing on Grandstand.
VISUAL REPRESENTATION: In a skanking mood? Good. Let's do rocksteady with Prince Buster and the Skatalites doing Al Capone in 1984, the Skatalites alone with Guns Of Navarone recorded in March, Toots & The Maytals running through Monkey Man and from closer to home and date the Specials' Too Much Too Young in what we don't think is the celebrated live version and more recently still their Neville Staple performing Do Nothing on his own.
FALLING OFF A BLOG: While looking up Emmy The Great details to round off that Chat we noticed the label that jointly put out her single, Fear And Records, have started their own blog featuring the Thermals, Klaxons, Sky Larkin and their own next release from I Was A Cub Scout.
EVERYBODY GET RANDOM: Let's round off Summer Sundae (and hello to Lee from, er, Misterlee - comments are appreciated) with some linkage. There's a few blog reviews knocking about, The Daily Growl's being particularly recommended if only because he was first to post of the people we knew were going. (CLUMSY EDIT: Ben Silent Words Speak Loudest has now posted his thoughts, which we mention because we did actually meet him) Meanwhile YouTube houses clips of Guillemots, Vashti Bunyan, Psapp, the Long Blondes, The Boy Least Likely To's corpsing-aided cover of Faith, and Belle & Sebastian both from backstage and the front, with the girl plucked out by Stuart Murdoch to dance with during Jonathan David.
IN OTHER NEWS: Not a lot of Truck to counterbalance that out, although there is the end of Jetplane Landing's set, featuring comment from Andrew Ferris himself. Ferris' Smalltown America label is putting on the third of its ever ace All Dayers on September 16th at 93 Feet East in London, and alongside Andrew acoustic will be the likes of glitch powerhouses 65daysofstatic, disco punks Blood Red Shoes, dance hardcoreites Dartz!, former Million Dead wordsmith Frank Turner, Postal Service-meets-happy hardcore duo I Was A Cub Scout, playful power poppers the Young Playthings, barely reconstructed punks Vatican DC and hordes of others.