Monday, September 18, 2006

Weekender : please do not read whilst listening to the recordings

CHART OF DARKNESS: Call us facile, but we suspect someone's putting some money into Scissor Sisters promotion. I Don't Feel Like Dancin' is approaching Abu Ghraib noise torture levels and so it continues at number one ahead of robot Justin, whose Futuresex/Lovesounds becomes the least appetisingly titled album number one ever. Fergie fools some of the people some of the time at 3 while the Killers' grandiose Thunder Road? We Shit It single download enters at 5 and Jamelia climbs only to 10. Never underestimate the grey market is the message of Daniel O'Donnell at 21, beating Lostprophets by two. You may remember us noting the video for their previous single demonstrating how they seemed to be wanting us to think they were AFI or someone. No danger this time around, it's fair to say, although surely someone should have pointed out the anomoly of the London namecheck at the start. Lupe Fiasco we thought would do far better than 25, Embrace were supposedly top five in the initial midweeks but land at 29 instead, Larrikin Love continue to suffer from the big hole where their crossover should be at 32, the record buying public remain idiots as Trains To Brazil stalls at 36 and Lego-haired Sam Duckworth earns himself, or rather Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, a good enough entry at 38. Bedouin Soundclash off the advert re-enter at 40 on downloads, with the single reissued properly in four weeks' time. So much for deletions. Katie Melua's the one who misses out at 41, anyway, so it's hardly snatching food from the starved. Her videos are just becoming mad now, although you can't help feeling the hand of Bush, K is tapping at her shoulder after wrap. The Stranglers at 57?
The whole top three of the album chart is new, with Justin followed by the incredibly important Fratellis, who have said Costello Music is so named because when run together with their name it looks a bit like Elvis Costello. Mmm. Lemar serenades the mums at 3, at least those who didn't buy Lionel Richie (28) instead. Diana Krall takes care of the MOR overflow at 29. Kelis starts badly at 41, beaten at 39 by the Adam & The Ants Best Of. Echo and the Bunnymen's is even more unfortunately placed, at 47 one behind metallers much like any other metallers Mastodon. Both beat the Mars Volta, who surely can't afford a soft launch as they follow a top 20 place with a 49. Despite Stipe being over to promote it, the REM Best Of limps in at 70. What gives, nation?

FREE MUSIC: We won't keep telling you. Go and listen to On A Neck, On A Spit by Grizzly Bear, as mentioned yesterday. When that's done, go and read their blog, full of curious tour stories and other people's mp3s.

HEY YOU GET OFFA MYSPACE: If anything's held the Liverpool scene back over the years it's the way it always seems to eventually come back to meat and potatoes guitar pop. You'd think all local musical efforts were overshadowed by one enormous band, perhaps from the 60s, or something. The Wombats could well fall into the same trap but expertly avoid it through harmonic guitars, crisp janglepop and trace elements of Lee Mavers' retro vision. You'll be hearing a lot more of them if they're not careful.

VISUAL REPRESENTATION: Every so often YouTube do a complete sweep of their mighty archive and wipe it of clips from the talk shows and, most pertinently in this case, Saturday Night Live. Less cowbell: inspired by the BBC4 Stiff Weekend to find the clip of Elvis Costello and the Attractions U-turning on Less Than Zero and launch into a biting Radio Radio, we moved onto Devo completely confusing the audience with Jocko Homo and its Booji Boy intro, the Replacements just about making it through Bastards Of Young in one piece, the B-52s pretty much inventing New Wave on the spot and Radiohead nearly making sense of Idioteque.

FALLING OFF A BLOG: Another blogging band, and one we've featured before on many an occasion. Lucky Soul, purveyors of fine Dusty In Gold Star Studios retro-modernity cool, are recording their debut album, and between them they're going to photograph and tell you every last thing about it. Of course tambourine overdubs!

EVERYBODY GET RANDOM: Struggling for a way out of a particularly tiresome piece of writing? No, composition, we mean, not writing. Why not, then, go the Oblique Strategies way? In 1975 Brian Eno and artist Peter Schmidt worked up a set of cards on which were printed reminders of their most productive working principles for when everything goes off kilter. As Eno put it, "these cards evolved from our separate observations on the principles underlying what we were doing. Sometimes they were recognized in retrospect (intellect catching up with intuition), sometimes they were identified as they were happening, sometimes they were formulated." Inevitably, they're online. So, cards, what say you as we approach the end of another head-hurting Weekender? "Spectrum analysis". Wonderful.

IN OTHER NEWS: Did you know there was a Welsh specific top 40? Not a great amount of Welsh language in it, interestingly, although last week it did find room for Richard Hawley and The Boy Least Likely To.


simon h b said...

No, no... what holds back the Liverpool music scene is the way everyone involved has such thin skins, nobody ever offers even the most mild piece of criticism. Everyone tells everyone all the time what they're doing is brilliant, so nobody ever feels the need to change anything. If someone does offer any advice, or suggests there's room for improvement, you get threatened with violence (from the bands) or legal action (from the management). Or sometimes a beating from a solicitor, if both sides are in agreement.

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