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Jul 27

Charts – 24 July 2015

Posted on Monday, July 27, 2015 by Paul in Music

Another astonishingly quiet chart – Radio 1 must be thanking their lucky stars they only have to fill 1h 45 with the run down these days.  There’s literally nothing going on in the bottom half of the chart at all.  So we pick up with…

18.  5 Seconds of Summer – “She’s Kinda Hot”


Jul 19

Interregnum: There Is Only Secret Wars

Posted on Sunday, July 19, 2015 by Paul in x-axis

It’s been a while since we’ve had any updates with the X-Axis, for fairly obvious reasons.  The entire line is currently doing Secret Wars tie-ins, and so the entire line consists of stand-in miniseries which are presently halfway through (aside from Magneto, which is doing a “Last Days” tie-in).

We’ll deal with the individual Secret Wars X-books in due course, but this seems like a good time to throw out a few thoughts on the line and the crossover as a whole, if only to open a comments thread for it.


Jul 18

Charts – 17 July 2015

Posted on Saturday, July 18, 2015 by Paul in Music

If the compilers were hoping for some exciting, memorable weeks to liven up the first few charts after the shift to Fridays, it seems they’re going to be disappointed.  This is one of the deadest charts I’ve ever seen outside the Christmas-New Year break.  How dead?  Try this for the lowest new entry…

6.  Avicii – “Waiting for Love”


Jul 13

Charts – 10 July 2015

Posted on Monday, July 13, 2015 by Paul in Music

It’s a podcast weekend, so check that out in the post below.  Nearly two hours long, this one.

So then.  We skipped last week’s chart, which was the last one to be announced on a Sunday, before the music industry’s “Global Release Date” scheme harmonised all new releases on a Friday around the world.  So from here on, the chart will be announced on a Friday afternoon.  It gets a shorter slot on Radio 1 – cut from three hours to 1h45 – but it’s actually a significant trade up.  Listening figures are much higher on a Friday afternoon, and besides, playing the entire chart is just not a sensible format in these days of streaming media, and in an era when the chart itself is relatively slow.

The Sunday night slot is a British tradition – Radio 1 has been playing the entire chart in that slot since 1962 – but like Top of the Pops, it’s long outstayed its usefulness.  And the significance of that Sunday slot is easy to overstate, because although the chart was calculated on the basis of a Sunday-to-Saturday week, it wasn’t actually possible to turn around the calculations in 24 hours until 1987.  Before then, the chart was actually announced on Tuesday, so the Sunday night show was playing the chart from the previous week.  Things moved more slowly in the analogue age.


Jul 11

House to Astonish Episode 134

Posted on Saturday, July 11, 2015 by Al in Podcast

Paul and I are back after a slightly unusually long break, with a massive run-through of the All-New All-Different Marvel books, the announcements out of Image Expo, DC’s Convergence tie-in launches, Vertigo’s new slate, IDW’s surprising licensed launches and the return of Tokypop. We’ve also got reviews of Archie, The Spire and Dungeon Fun, and the Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe is lovely jubbly. All this plus Little Nico in Slumberland, Belfast’s most bangin’ DJ and the gentle caress of a brick to the face.

The podcast is here, or here on Mixcloud, or available via the embedded player below. Let us know what you think, in the comments below, on Twitter, via email or on our Facebook fan page. Don’t forget that you can also deck yourself out in one of our natty t-shirts by visiting our Redbubble store and, like, buying one. They’re all the rage in Paris, I expect.

Jul 2

Charts – 28 June 2015

Posted on Thursday, July 2, 2015 by Paul in Music

The reign of Jason Derulo is over!  It only took four weeks!  And the end is nigh in another respect – this is the penultimate Sunday chart.  Next week is the last one before we jump to Fridays with the “Global Release Date”.

32.  Duke Dumont – “The Giver”


Jun 27

Uncanny Avengers vol 1 – “Counter-Evolutionary”

Posted on Saturday, June 27, 2015 by Paul in x-axis

First of all, no, that’s not a typo.  This is volume 1 – the second volume 1, even though it features a creative team that worked on the previous run.  And if everything is getting a fresh #1 after Secret Wars, it will presumably be the only volume 1 of the second run, to be followed promptly by a third volume 1.  This is confusing.  I was tempted to call it volume 6 but (a) that’s not the title, and (b) volume 6 should logically be Axis, which wasn’t billed as an Uncanny Avengers collection at all.

Oh well.  Bitching about the numbering helps me get through a paragraph before turning my attention to the more important point, which is that this book completely lost my attention somewhere along the line.


Jun 27

Chikara 15.3: “Out on a Limb”

Posted on Saturday, June 27, 2015 by Paul in Wrestling

Preamble: Three shows into the year, Chikara gets back to its regular schedule of running multiple shows over one weekend per month.  Between shows, they’ve also announced “Challenge Of The Immortals”, a tournament which will run for the rest of the year.

There are a lot of COTI matches coming up in future shows – a lot – so let’s run down the rules:

  • There are ten teams of four.  Director of Fun Mike Quackenbush (the GM) appointed the team captains, who then took turns to draft members from the roster, followed by a brief window for trades.
  • It’s a double round robin – every team faces every other team twice.
  • Each match can be a singles, tag, trios or atomicos (8-man tag) match.  The team captains are supposed to decide between them.  The same two teams can’t meet in the same type of match on both occasions.  (Singles and tag matches don’t count towards title contention.)
  • A team gets one point for every match it wins.  The team with the most points at the end of the day is the winner.
  • Everyone on the winning team gets a vaguely-defined “Golden Opportunity”, which is effectively a money in the bank title shot, though you could use it for something else if you really wanted.


Jun 24

Charts – 21 June 2015

Posted on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 by Paul in Music

Next week… next week looks set to be pretty busy at the top of the chart.  This week, yeah, not so much.

38.  Kygo featuring Parson James – “Stole The Show”


Jun 21

Magneto vol 3

Posted on Sunday, June 21, 2015 by Paul in x-axis

This one rather slipped by me – we’re actually two issues into volume 4 by now, which is a “Last Days” Secret Wars tie-in.  But let’s go back to volume 3 before it slips from mind entirely.

It is the fate of the lower-selling Marvel comic to spend a lot of its time doing crossovers, which is why Magneto has wound up doing both Axis and Secret Wars.  But that means joining in large-scale high-stakes adventure with big name characters and mainstream Marvel Universe concepts floating around, all of which was quite at odds with the tone established by the early issues of the series.  They went for Magneto as a small-scale, largely de-powered vigilante still hanging in there despite being a shadow of the man he once was.