Archives for June 2007

Hilary Duff - 'Stranger'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:28 UK time, Saturday, 30 June 2007

Hilary DuffFrankly, I could bore you all to tears going on about Songs That Should've Got A Proper Release, dammit. I'm still smarting from the news that Katharine McPhee's 'Over It' is not getting an official UK release, despite being one of those brilliant summer songs that the charts are in desperate need of right now, and now I'm going to berate Hilary Duff for the fact that she's chosen to release 'Stranger' instead of the clearly superior 'Danger'.

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Call My Duff...

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Fraser McAlpine | 15:38 UK time, Friday, 29 June 2007

DuffRemember a while ago how I was after fan questions for Duff McKagen out of Guns 'n' Roses / Velvet Revolver? Well, after a quite complicated series of events, the interview finally happened this week, and it's RIGHT HERE!

What I Expected: The word 'duuuude' to crop up a lot...plenty of legendary tales...some hard-won wisdom from a man who has 'been there'...to get a little over-excited to be in the presence of Rock Royalty...
What I Did Not Expect: To find myself saying "no, I've never sexed an elephant" within a minute of the interview starting...

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Arctic Monkeys - 'Flourescent Adolescent'

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Fraser McAlpine | 09:41 UK time, Friday, 29 June 2007

Arctic MonkeysGah! All these WORDS! It's enough to drive a man to ambient techno-metal. Settle back to let the whole song wash over you, and it's like being repetitively poked in the face by an insistent toddler who is asking for something over and over again, in an indistinct fashion. Listen too closely and it's like poetry homework. Thank the Lord for the bits where he calls a boy a slag, otherwise what hope for brainkind?

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Thoughts On The Spice Reunion

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Fraser McAlpine | 13:54 UK time, Thursday, 28 June 2007

Spice GIrls

I work in a very busy news room, surrounded by hardened, seen-it-all, sceptical journalists. I've just watched the Spice Girls press conference, in which Geri, Emma and co were also surrounded by hardened, seen-it-all, sceptical journalists. They've announced that the Spice Girls are getting back together and that they are going out on a world tour. Cue rolled-eyes from the journos in this room, and a load of sceptical questions from the journos in that room.

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Avril Lavigne - 'When You're Gone'

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Fraser McAlpine | 09:58 UK time, Thursday, 28 June 2007

AvrilGranted, everyone knows Avril can pull off a power ballad here and there, particularly after the likes of 'I'm With You'. But having had the super-bratty 'Girlfriend' perma-stamped into our psyches for the past few months, a track like this sure can take you by surprise. Isn't this supposed to be the new, bright-and-bubbly pop Avril? What's she doing being all SINCERE all of a sudden? My brain can't take it! THE PAIN!

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It's A Brave New World!

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Fraser McAlpine | 17:21 UK time, Wednesday, 27 June 2007

cd_single_100.jpgSee this? Some of you youngsters won't know what this is, but back when you were just a twinkle in your dad's dirty mind, this was your only way to get hold of new music. It was called a CD (or 'Crumpet Disc'*). Now, CDs had albums on them and they had singles on them, but they were always the same size (apart from a very few teeny-tiny 3-inch singles).

Which gave rise to an interesting problem for record companies thinking of releasing a single. How to fill a full-size CD with enough stuff to keep the fans happy, without contravening the strict rules laid down by the compilers of the charts, and getting yourselves banned from the Top 40.

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My Chemical Romance - 'Teenagers'

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Fraser McAlpine | 09:40 UK time, Wednesday, 27 June 2007

My Chemical RomanceHere it is then. The moment where all the snooty rockbore knuckle-dragging 'emo'-baiting wrong-headed pultroons are going to have to shut the hecking heck up. Whatever argument you lot have against My Chemical Romance and their fans can be countered and beaten by just one listen to this song. It's sexier than you are, it's tougher than you are, it's cleverer than you are, it's slinkier than you are and it does not give a cack what you think about it. So ner.

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How To Destroy...Shakira

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Fraser McAlpine | 16:10 UK time, Tuesday, 26 June 2007

How To Destroy Shakira

NOTE: Babies, freakishly strong little beggars, aren't they? And cherubs like that little fella are even MORE so. It must be all that harp-lifting, really builds up the muscles. Now, you and I both know that ripping Shakira's head off is a) very hard to do and b) A REALLY BAD IDEA. But, should you ever find yourself with a baby in one hand, an apple in the other, and Shakira advancing on you in a threatening manner, well, give it a try.

SECOND NOTE: Sorry for all the blood. It's a bit much, isn't it? Let's pretend it's jam, shall we?

Fall Out Boy - 'The Take Over, The Break's Over'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:37 UK time, Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Just JackI've been watching Pete Wentz for quite a while now. Not like some of you might have been watching Pete Wentz, y'know, with your face pressed up right against your posters and your tongue out. No, I've been watching the way he plays his bass guitar, and I've come to a quite startling conclusion. There's something really odd about where his plucking hand is. Compared to other bass-players, it's WAY up the strings, like around where the neck of his bass meets the body. It almost looks like he can't really play the bass at all, and is just sort of posing about with a guitar. A guitar that he is holding as if he has no idea which end he is supposed to blow into.

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Pop News - It's All Kicking Off...

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Fraser McAlpine | 16:38 UK time, Monday, 25 June 2007

The world of celebrity news, with added cuss-ometer ratings...

SexyBrat!
JustinIf you see Justin Timberlake milling about in your home town, just leave him THE HELL alone, unless you want a faceful of pop star sweary bile. And that stuff can really leave a stain.

These are the hard lessons Swedish Timberfans had to learn when trying to approaching JT. A Swedish magazine reports that Justin, who clearly spent his time in the country in a very bad mood, refused to have his picture taken with fans, sarcastically responding to a little girl's camera request with the harsh words "you want me to juggle also?"

Now, this might just be a load of tabloid hooey, and certainly the less-than-orthodox English in Justin's nasty little jibe there seems to either indicate that he was so angry he forgot how to form sentences, or that someone is making quotes up on his behalf.

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Natasha Bedingfield - 'Soulmate'

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Fraser McAlpine | 11:37 UK time, Monday, 25 June 2007

Natasha BedingfieldAlright, everyone stop what they're doing and put your hands on your heads. Yes, you! Hands on heads please. I want all pens down, and I'm perfectly happy to stay here all day until we get to the bottom of this... All quiet now? Good. Now, WHO has upset little Natasha Bedingfield? Last I knew she was happily playing with her baby dolls in the quiet corner. Well I say HER babies, she snuck up on Simon Simpson and asked if she could have HIS, but still... She was giggling and humming to herself, and NOW look...

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Chart Report - 24/06/07

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Fraser McAlpine | 20:43 UK time, Sunday, 24 June 2007

THE TOP 5...

Click on song titles for ChartBlog review and media.
  1 RIHANNA ft. JAY-Z 'UMBRELLA' Official Site
  2 LEE MEAD 'ANY DREAM WILL DO' Official Site
  3 ENRIQUE IGLESIAS 'DO YOU KNOW' Official Site
  4 CALVIN HARRIS 'THE GIRLS' Official Site
  5 KELLY ROWLAND ft. EVE 'LIKE THIS' Official Site
The entire Top 40 is right here...

The Killers - 'For Reasons Unknown'

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Fraser McAlpine | 17:12 UK time, Sunday, 24 June 2007

KillersIn a lot of ways, this is the perfect Killers song to release after the band's enormo-performo at Glastonbury, seeing as it's exactly like any other Killers song, only one which has been left out in the rain, and some of the mechanisms have rusted a bit, so they squeak and lurch where once they would have glided and swooped. None of this is bad, by the way...

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Jack Penate - 'Torn On The Platform'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:43 UK time, Saturday, 23 June 2007

Jack PenateThere are very few mysteries left in modern music, with the possible exception of what on earth Pharrell Williams has got to look so smug about these days. But this fella is at the centre of one of the last great unsolved puzzles - namely why does Jack Penate insist on doing his shirt up to the very top button? It's quite a tight shirt too, and with all that jigging about, he can't be comfortable in there. So why do it? It doesn't look THAT good...does it?

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Top 5 - One Trick Pony Club

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Fraser McAlpine | 16:20 UK time, Friday, 22 June 2007

And here's the one-trick pony's one trick...

New bands walk a fine line when they try and display their musical wares to the pop public. Should they define what they do in a series of similar songs, so that everyone who likes that kind of thing comes rushing over all at once, or should they spread all of their ideas out as widely as possible, so that everyone knows the true depth of their talent?

Well, here's five acts who've take the first option to such a massive degree that it's tempting to wonder if there actually IS any depth to their talent. All in good fun, naturally...

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Gwen Stefani - '4 In The Morning'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:14 UK time, Friday, 22 June 2007

Gwen StefaniPerspective's an odd little thing. The qualities which make a person most attractive to us as a pop star are exactly NOT the qualities we'd look for in a best friend, say (pop stars are pretty ruthless and self-serving), or a boy/girlfriend (they also talk a good snog, but possibly aren't THAT amazing in a lip-to-lip situation, unless there's a mirror involved and no you). We want our popsters to be aloof, amazing, startlingly original and totally special people, but we also want them to sing to us about our feelings and our lives, lives which, by and large, are not amazing, startlingly original, or totally special (except to us, obv). Paradoxical, eh?

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The Hoosiers - 'Worried About Ray'

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Fraser McAlpine | 09:20 UK time, Thursday, 21 June 2007

hoosiers_100.jpgOh man it must really HURT to be cool these days. You spend weeks...months...YEARS cultivating the perfect musical taste, the perfect clothes, the perfect stance, the perfect fringe, everything. You are perfectly colour co-ordinated at every moment of every day (so long as the colours in question are black, white or red, obv) and you just KNOW which bands are 'real' and which ones are just 'faking it' for the 'mass market'. And then suddenly that dratted beast 'popular culture' comes along, with its 'guilty pleasures', and 'naff-retro' and 'new old' malarkey, and before you know what's what you're buying bad day-glo tracksuits, listening to the Feeling and growing an ironic moustache...yes, even the boys!

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Lost In Translation

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Fraser McAlpine | 16:24 UK time, Wednesday, 20 June 2007

flags

The internet is a wonderful thing, of this there is no doubt. Where else can you buy books, music, clothes and groceries, while chatting to your best friends, perving on friends of their friends' friends and watching clips of people shooting themselves in the face with sharpened fruit segments? And there's no end of other stuff you can do. Some of it is actually useful.

And then there's those 'Translate English Into Another Language' translation engines. The idea is that you can whack a chunk of text into one of these, muck about with the settings a bit, and before you can say "quoi?", you've got that exact same passage, only in French, or German, or Mandarin, or whatever you want. But can they handle the subtle nuances of your average pop lyric, without rendering the whole thing into total gobbledegook? Only one way to find out...

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The Enemy - 'Had Enough'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:15 UK time, Wednesday, 20 June 2007

The EnemyOFFICIAL CHARTBLOG NOTICE: People, as we all know, are fallable. We all make mistakes and we're all entitled to second, third and fifth chances. So, having commissioned a review of this song from the very wonderful Hazel R, and received and published it, only to discover it was actually a review of the band's previous single 'Away From Here', well, the only appropriate response is to say "tsk! Oh well, never mind..."

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How To Destroy...Oasis (AGAIN!)

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Fraser McAlpine | 18:28 UK time, Tuesday, 19 June 2007

How To Destroy Oasis Again

NOTE: OK, so it may seem harsh, bearing in mind we've already destroyed Noel once (his Achilles heel is in his head, accessable only by conker. Remember? It's here). So why go back a second time?

Well, remember, the information contained within these pictures is not a plan of action, it's more of a guide should you ever find that you HAVE to destroy certain pop people. And while Noel is conker intolerant, his brother probably isn't. And let's face it, it's Liam you're really likely to have a problem with. So, for the record, ChartBlog has nothing against Oasis whatsoever. But if they were to ever go feral and start eating people or something, well, let's just say we know what to do, right?

Klaxons - 'It's Not Over Yet'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:01 UK time, Tuesday, 19 June 2007

KlaxonsSo, after Fraser went to great lengths to Make Pop Snobbery History the other day, are we all now agreed that cover versions are not the last resort of the creatively stunted? That it's not always about Simon Cowell trawling the karaoke bars in Blackpool to build up a list of the guaranteed granny-pleasers? That sometimes they can actually be a brilliant, considered, self-effacing, liberating method of self-expression? Because I love cover versions, I do. I've probably listened to Girls Aloud's version of 'Rehab' more than Amy Winehouse's, to Mandy Moore's 'Drop The Pilot' more than Joan Armatrading's, to Blake Lewis's 'You Give Love A Bad Name' more than Bon Jovi's. And I'm in no way suggesting that this means I find the originals inferior, quite the opposite: for me there's something hugely life-affirming about a great cover version, like a musical proof of the concept that you can have two different opinions and they can still both be right.

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Tying Up Loose Ends...

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Fraser McAlpine | 17:18 UK time, Monday, 18 June 2007

I love Armband Van HalenWithout meaning to stray too far into the territory of Writing A Blog About Writing A Blog, there's a couple of things which have been sort of bubbling away in some of ChartBlog's back pages which deserve to be returned to with a fresh eye.

Not least because they make you, the ChartBlog reader, look dead clever and witty and smart...

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The View - 'Face For The Radio'

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Fraser McAlpine | 09:54 UK time, Monday, 18 June 2007

The ViewThe world of modern song contains a fine and noble tradition, which was started way back in the '60s by the Kinks - the 'little thumbnail character sketch' song. Usually it's some indie band having a pop at businessmen who wear suits (and sometimes they like to pretend that the suit hides a fetish for ladies underwear, a stab at social comment which possible worked the first time, but maybe not so much since then). Anyway, there's loads of them. All you have to do to make one of your own is think about someone you don't like, list all the things about them that you'd most like to have a sneer at, make the ends of your sentences rhyme and you're done.

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Chart Report - 17/06/07

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Fraser McAlpine | 19:41 UK time, Sunday, 17 June 2007

THE TOP 5...

Click on song titles for ChartBlog review and media.
  1 RIHANNA ft. JAY-Z 'UMBRELLA' Official Site
  2 THE WHITE STRIPES 'ICKY THUMP' Official Site
  3 ENRIQUE IGLESIAS 'DO YOU KNOW' Official Site
  4 KELLY ROWLAND ft. EVE 'LIKE THIS' Official Site
  5 MUTYA BUENA 'REAL GIRL' Official Site
The entire Top 40 is right here...

Scouting For Girls - 'It's Not About You'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:56 UK time, Sunday, 17 June 2007

Scouting For GirlsIt's just as well songs aren't like animals which have been bred for fighting. Because if songs WERE like animals bred for fighting, you could put 'It's Not About You' in a ring with McFly's 'It's All ABout You', and they would end up tearing massive chunks out of each other, before finally having to be torn apart and put back in their cages, while a team of ringside judges decide that in the final analysis, SOME of 'it' is 'about you', but by no means all of it.

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Kate Nash - 'Foundations'

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Fraser McAlpine | 11:31 UK time, Saturday, 16 June 2007

Kate NashKate Nash's ex sounds like a right wally, being sick on her shoes, and embarrassing her in public, but to be honest, he doesn't sound nearly as pathetic as Miss Lily Allen's ex in 'Not Big'. Nor does Nash sing about their break-up in such an endearing, or joyously vicious way - where Lily brings Girl Power into the 21st Century, Kate's an out of tune whingebag.

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Hadouken! - Punc Rockers

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Fraser McAlpine | 18:36 UK time, Friday, 15 June 2007

Hadouken!

Apparently, there are loads of people who really care about whether Hadouken!, the gang of whirling, baseball-hatted flouro-geeks who gave us the world-beating scenester satire 'That Boy, That Girl' are, like a PROPER band or not. These are the folk who will argue to the bitter end, claiming on the one hand that they - particularly James the singer - are just jumped-up posho white kids who are pretending to be into grime music and being dead 'street', or on the other that they're the future of all music as we know and understand it.

This is NOT the ChartBlog view of things...

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Ciara ft Chamillionaire - 'Get Up'

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Fraser McAlpine | 13:00 UK time, Friday, 15 June 2007

CiaraRappers, THIS is how you do a guest appearance! Rather than take the standard, well-worn and uninspired approach - which is to name yourself, and then the artist whose record you are appearing on, and then the year, and then do 16 bars of what amounts to little more than saying "I am here, I am here" over and over again (the best example of which can be found on Snoop Dogg's Pussycat Dolls moments), Chamillionaire effectively pulls the wheels off Ciara's song so comprehensively that it takes her twice as long to get everything back to normal as his rap section actually takes to listen to.

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Just A Blog About Ping Pong...

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:23 UK time, Friday, 15 June 2007

If only the band in YOUR school were this good...

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Paramore - 'Misery Business'

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Fraser McAlpine | 09:41 UK time, Thursday, 14 June 2007

ParamoreWithout meaning to get all Daily Mail on you...the world of emo is, self-confessedly, misogynistic. Pete Wentz has mused openly about why girls would choose to sing his lyrics at Fall Out Boy shows when he acknowledges they are frequently derogatory to their gender. By-words for females in emo songs are, as a rule, the sort of thing your mother would not be proud to hear you say, and the bands are almost universally male. Enter, then, Paramore, with Hayley Williams centre-stage as a Girl In Emo...a Femo, if you like.

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How To Destroy...Bjork

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Fraser McAlpine | 17:22 UK time, Wednesday, 13 June 2007

How To Destroy Bjork

NOTE: Even if she looks like an ice-cream. Even if she looks like a very tasty ice-cream indeed. Even if she looks like the most delicious ice-cream in the whole wide world, and you are boiling, and you've just eaten a massively hot curry and your curtains are on fire...PLEASE do not eat the Bjork. You'll have nightmares.

Just Jack - 'Writer's Block'

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Fraser McAlpine | 11:34 UK time, Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Just JackGod, you think YOU'VE got writer's block, Mr Jack? It's all very well listing all the things you think about and do in order to avoid having to put pen to paper, but that's nothing compared to the life-sapping, soul-dragging weight which descends when having to find something interesting to say about this song. It starts with total word-failure and ends with total LIFE-failure...passing through total engine-failure and total exam-failure along the way...

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SongSpoiler - The Reality Debate

Fraser McAlpine | 18:22 UK time, Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Stamp Of Real MusicIt's always funny when rocksnobs get on their high horse about bands or singers who write and perform their own songs. Partly because rock is the only medium whose devotees would value a bad autobiography over a good novel, but mainly due to the staggering levels of denial involved in making the argument in the first place.

Artists who write their own material, the theory goes, are inherently superior to artists who don't, because the music they make is forged from the bruises on their own hearts, the blood in their own veins and the sweat of their own brow, and is therefore honest and truthful and real.

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Exciting Klaxons/Legion Developments...

Fraser McAlpine | 16:08 UK time, Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Hey, remember this?

'Gravity's Rainbow' by Klaxons by The Central Band Of The Royal British Legion...

Well, as you'd expect, this little beauty has fair set the internets ablaze. And the Central Band (do check out their MySpace page if you'd like to hear more of their work) have been inundated with offers.

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Enter Shikari - 'Jonny Sniper'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:03 UK time, Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Enter ShikariI like nerds and I cannot lie. Anyone who's got the muster to shamelessly declare their encyclopedic knowledge of and enthusiasm for Star Trek, Tolkien, Linux, fast cars, posh dresses (that's right, fashionistas, you are all big anoraks...in little anoraks) Kantian epistemology, moussaka - anything, in fact, unless it's setting your granny on fire or similarly unsavoury activities - sends me into a gleeful happy place of geek solidarity.

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The Holloways - Sons Of A Beach

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Fraser McAlpine | 17:18 UK time, Monday, 11 June 2007

Holloways

It's always toughest, in the self-centred swan-bicker we call showbusiness, for the people who attempt to display any kind of conscience about what they do. It doesn't matter if the political cause is animal rights, human rights or left-handed rights, all you need to do is claim that you're against bad stuff and in favour of good stuff, and snarky moaners will examine your every comment and quip for proof that you're a hypocrite.

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Siobhan Donaghy - 'So You Say'

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Fraser McAlpine | 09:12 UK time, Monday, 11 June 2007

SiobhanWhat is it you people want, exactly? Do you want your pop music to be entirely ruled by television events, brain-scathingly bad cover versions and an endless parade of American dream-team duets? Or would you rather have the one thing the rocksnobs are always wittering on about - a self-contained talent who writes her own songs blah blah - in the form of an attractive young lady with icicles in her voice and a great big buzzard on her head?

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Chart Report - 10/06/07

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Fraser McAlpine | 20:30 UK time, Sunday, 10 June 2007

THE TOP 5...

Click on song titles for ChartBlog review and media.
  1 RIHANNA ft. JAY-Z 'UMBRELLA' Official Site
  2 MUTYA BUENA 'REAL GIRL' Official Site
  3 CALVIN HARRIS 'THE GIRLS' Official Site
  4 GYM CLASS HEROES 'CUPID'S CHOKEHOLD' Official Site
  5 BEYONCE & SHAKIRA 'BEAUTIFUL LIAR' Official Site
The entire Top 40 is right here...

Ash - 'Polaris'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:22 UK time, Saturday, 9 June 2007

AshThere are many famous music schools - The Brit Academy - home to Katie Melua, Jamie Cullum and the Kooks, Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts - run by Paul McCartney and home to, err, Sandy Thom, The Royal Academy of Music - home to some snobby sorts with classical instruments, but none can compare to the shadowy institution, the name of which remains a mystery, where singers such as Danny McNamara from Embrace, Sam from Get Cape Wear Cape Fly, and Ash's Tim Wheeler learned how NOT to sing.

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Interpol vs. Editors - It's A Dark-Off!

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:03 UK time, Saturday, 9 June 2007

EditorsSince indie doomaticians Editors arrived with 'Bullets' a couple of years ago, the comparisons with indie doomaticians Interpol have been rife. Heck, on Amazon, if you search for Editors, it also brings up Interpol's music, but why? True, neither band deals in happiness or giddy thrills, but aside from that, are the two bands really so similar? And why does your dad keep talking about Joy Division whenever either one comes on the radio?

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No, YOU Listen Up!

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Fraser McAlpine | 18:40 UK time, Friday, 8 June 2007

The Gossip

Hey, anyone remember that we were after questions for the Gossip? No? C'mon, surely you remember? We were going to interview Beth Ditto and didn't want to take a load of offensive man-journalist hooey-questions about her size and her sexual orientation when we could take some real questions from real fans...remember? OK, most of the questions you sent in were about her size after all (well done on leaving the sex thing alone), but still, it was gonna be brilliant, yeah?

No? Oh well anyway, that's what was going to happen. Want to find out what DID happen? Then read on...

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M.I.A. - 'Boyz'

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Fraser McAlpine | 11:34 UK time, Friday, 8 June 2007

MIAWhen Samuel F. B. Morse first started using his famous code to telegraph messages over long distances, it's a fairly safe bet that he could not have predicted that anyone would use the seemingly random scree of blips and bloops as direct inspiration for a song. And yet morse code pops up in popular music more often than you'd think. 'Dot Dash' by Wire, 'Beat 'Dis' by Bomb The Bass, 'S.O.S' by ABBA (not so much the sound of the morse code as a complex allegory about a leaking loveboat, in distress on the high seas, but still...), and now this from the lady we're going to have to start calling 'The Anti-Rihanna'.

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Blog Party - Cheryl TweedyCole

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Fraser McAlpine | 17:02 UK time, Thursday, 7 June 2007

CherylIf there's one thing we at ChartBlog detest, it's egg custards. But if you widen the net out a little bit as far as maybe the fourth or fifth thing we at ChartBlog detest, it would be hacking into someone's laptop using clever Spooks-style computer trickery, stealing their innermost thoughts and then publishing them on the internet so that everyone can have a really good laugh.

Thankfully no-one we know has that level of expertise. But if they did, and the laptop they broke into belonged to Cheryl Cole out of they Girl Alouds? How would that be, do you suppose?

Hmm...

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The Fratellis - 'Ole Black 'N' Blue Eyes'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:51 UK time, Thursday, 7 June 2007

The FratellisOh. Look. It's. A. New. Single. From. The. Fratellis. How. Exciting. I. Mean. You. Just. Don't. See. A. Lot. Of. Those. About. These. Days. Do. You? They. Certainly. Aren't. Sticking. Every. Last. Song. On. Their. Album. Out. As. A. Single. Oh. No. Because. That. Would. Be. Wrong... Right?

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Back-Of-The-Sofa Tunes...

Fraser McAlpine | 14:36 UK time, Wednesday, 6 June 2007

sofa.jpg

Some songs are made for everyone. These are the kind of back-of-the-net, cannot-miss hits that scale the dizzy heights, take up residence at the top of the charts, and enter the public consciousness, to become much-loved and highly-regarded musical additions to the family of man (and woman, obv). No social gathering is complete without them, and even constant radio play does nothing to reduce their emotional impact.

Although if they're TOO popular, these songs do run the risk of being killed to death by endless covers on TV talent contests and finally granted an inhumane execution...the Opera Cover Version (in Italian).

But what of the other songs, songs which have the same amount of wild inspiration in their DNA, and which can, if played to the right people, cause the same extreme kind of reactions as those other songs, but will never appeal to everyone because they're too different, too wayward, too unorthodox or too lost down the back of the sofa? What of those songs, eh? Who's going to look after them?

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The White Stripes - 'Icky Thump'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:43 UK time, Wednesday, 6 June 2007

White StripesImagine our surprise when we heard the latest White Stripes single, and it wasn't a radio-friendly mild rockathon. Now imagine our utter utter delight (especially at the Anglophile title), at the possibility that rock has finally sent emo to its grave (where it is hopefully enjoying itself thoroughly), and is ruling the world with a set of bagpipes, and vicious riffs harsher than Paris Hilton's jail sentence.

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How To Destroy...Rihanna

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Fraser McAlpine | 17:22 UK time, Tuesday, 5 June 2007

How To Destroy Rihanna

NOTE: OK, I'm not going twelve rounds with the Rihanna Street Team like last time with McFly, so let me be VERY, VERY CLEAR. Should you be the owner of an instant-freezing device, and should Rihanna be posing like this next to the swimming pool in your neighbour's garden...PLEASE don't shoot her with it. It would be A BAD THING. This little picture up here is IN NO WAY a suggestion. DOES EVERYONE UNDERSTAND?

Enrique Iglesias - 'Do You Know'

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Fraser McAlpine | 09:37 UK time, Tuesday, 5 June 2007

EnriqueThe world of sport is often poorly represented as a potential source of musical ideas. Oh sure, there's been endless football songs, and most of those use crowd noises and bits of TV commentary in the non-singy-bits. They do this to prove that the people who made the record really KNOW their beautiful game, and are in no way cashing on on a big event (although that blindingly overused "they think it's all over" clip can hardly be said to prove anything really. Putting that in your footy song is like claiming to be a professor of literature by pointing to a list of long words which you can read).

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Webbe-Slinger

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Fraser McAlpine | 17:29 UK time, Monday, 4 June 2007

Simon Webbe

It's all very well hiding behind your shades, mister, we all know you've been hurt. She really did a number on you, didn't she? No, don't turn away and grit your teeth, it's written all over your face. Oh sure, you like to put up that hard outer shell, the 'No Worries' man, right? Mr Laid Back? Captain Smooth? Well it just won't wash with us...

Course, part of the reason why we know you've been hurt in love is that you told us...in an interview...and it was when you were 15...and actually it's not like you seemed particularly bothered after all this time....so what the hell are you doing posing about with those shades on, eh? EH?

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Maximo Park - 'Books From Boxes'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:16 UK time, Monday, 4 June 2007

Maximo ParkSongs about books? Easy. 'Wuthering Heights' by Kate Bush, 'Gravity's Rainbow' by The Klaxons and, of course, McFly's musical interpretation of the Cliff Notes to Of Mice and Men. Breathtaking, that one.

So it's no surprise that Maximo Park should jump aboard the literary bandwagon with 'Books From Boxes'. By rights, they should be in the driving seat. After all, Paul Smith has long been known to sing from a mysterious red book on stage (which I can exclusively reveal is a bound first edition of Jilly Cooper's Riders).

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Chart Report - 03/06/07

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Fraser McAlpine | 20:01 UK time, Sunday, 3 June 2007

THE TOP 5...

Click on song titles for ChartBlog review and media.
  1 RIHANNA ft. JAY-Z 'UMBRELLA' Official Site
  2 MUTYA BUENA 'REAL GIRL' Official Site
  3 BEYONCE & SHAKIRA 'BEAUTIFUL LIAR' Official Site
  4 HELLOGOODBYE 'HERE (IN YOUR ARMS}' Official Site
  5 MAROON 5 'MAKES ME WONDER' Official Site
The entire Top 40 is right here...

JK and Joel talk to Phil from the Twang about their No.8 hit 'Either Way'...

Kelly Rowland ft Eve - 'Like This'

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Fraser McAlpine | 11:58 UK time, Sunday, 3 June 2007

Kelly Rowland"Ladies and gentlemen!", a man says as the drum machine is given a warm-up shake, "Kelly's back...". And the you have to admit that the evidence is hard to argue with, here's the second most famous member of Destiny's Child doing what she does best, talking about how smashing she is and how rubbish her ex-boyfriends are. Slightly more mysterious is why Kelly should choose to make her return to the public eye with a song which uses as a refrain a half-speed version of one of the best songs by her old band...

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The Fray - 'Over My Head (Cable Car)'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:55 UK time, Saturday, 2 June 2007

The FrayI'm sorry, this won't do AT ALL. I mean, it's all very well releasing a nice big meandering piano-led friendly-thon, the kind of song which will undoubtedly be soundtracking some US teen drama right now, but why would you release a song about something being OVER YOUR HEAD, and then subtitle it CABLE CAR, if you're in a band called the FRAY, and THEN make it a nice big meandering piano led....well, you get the picture...WHY DO IT?

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Strummer Holidays

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Fraser McAlpine | 14:59 UK time, Friday, 1 June 2007

holloways_busk.jpgWhile all the rest of music-kind is gearing up towards this summer's massive Live Earth concerts - which will feature pop stars demanding that the government teach us all about why it's very important to switch lights off, boil less kettles and wash clothes at a lower temperature to save carbon emissions, by using all of that saved energy (and more besides) to stage an enormous ROCK PARTY, ALL OVER THE WORLD (what? That's right, isn't it?) - some of the equally green-friendly members of the indie community are making their own, less gargantuan statements about the harmful effects of needless travel.

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Take That - 'I'd Wait For Life'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:13 UK time, Friday, 1 June 2007

Take ThatI don't want to like this. I really don't. There's too much at stake. For starters, the song itself is little more than Mark Owen's debut solo single 'Child', only with a little nip and tuck to try and disguise the passing years. All of the arrangement ideas for the song have been pinched from the Beatles, together or solo. And - irony of ironies - they are the exact same musical ideas ('Hey Jude' with added George Harrison-type slide guitar, basically) that Robbie pinched when he put 'Angels' together.

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