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Nov 21

Charts – 16 November 2014

Posted on Friday, November 21, 2014 by Paul in Music

Well, welcome back.  Let’s see if we can get this blog back on some sort of a schedule, and start by knocking off this week’s chart post before it becomes last week’s.

39.  Brian Wilson & Various Artists – “God Only Knows” 

The BBC’s much-hyped collaboration debuted at 20 last month and then plummeted out of the top 75 within three weeks.  It rebounds here, because it’s a charity release for the Corporation’s annual Children In Need fundraising drive, and this is the sales week following the telethon.  But only to 39.  It’s basically flopped, considering its obvious ambitions to recapture “Perfect Day”.


Nov 16


Posted on Sunday, November 16, 2014 by Paul in Uncategorized

No reviews this week, I’m afraid – no time, and besides, there’s nothing actually finishing this week anyway. Should be back to normal service next week.

Nov 11

Charts – 9 November 2014

Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 by Paul in Music

A quiet week, mostly consisting of records that have flared out since the midweek and don’t have videos!  But hey, it’s November – that means it’s time for Christmas!

26.  Nicki Minaj featuring Drake, Lil Wayne & Chris Brown – “Only”

A promotional single from Minaj’s upcoming album (hence no video).  After “Anaconda” – still hanging in at 24 – this is obviously the less commercial one for the hardcore audience.

26.  The Script – “No Good In Goodbye”

This is going to be (?) the second single from the Script’s current album, though as yet it only has a lyric video.  Their YouTube channel also helpfully has the entire lyric in the info field.  Maybe they’ve missed the point of a lyric video.  Or maybe they’re just so proud of the wordplay that they don’t want to risk you missing any of it.

21.  Tom Odell – “Real Love”


Nov 10

Death of Wolverine one-shots

Posted on Monday, November 10, 2014 by Paul in x-axis

There’s a concept in literary theory called paratext, which (as I understand it) is basically everything that isn’t strictly part of the text proper, but still frames the text, and affects the way you read it.  The packaging, the promotion, the design, that sort of thing.  All things that can prime you to respond to the story in a certain way.

Event stories like “Death of Wolverine” are all about the paratext.  If Charles Soule’s four-part story had simply appeared, without prior publicity, in issue #whatever of an ongoing Wolverine series, and if the continuation of that story had just appeared in issue #whatever+1 of that same series, all without any pretext of cancellation, the audience reaction to the final page would be very different – it would, pretty much, be that the story’s clearly not over, so I wonder how Wolverine is going to get out of this one.


Nov 5

Charts – 2 November 2014

Posted on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 by Paul in Music

Mostly a quiet chart this week – but the new number 1 sets an actual, proper chart record…

38.  OneRepublic – “Love Runs Out”

A slightly surprising re-entry for a single that previously got to number 3 in August, particularly as the main focus of their current promotion is on the record we’ll come to shortly.

37.  Idina Menzel – “Let It Go”

Climbing 18 places to re-enter the chart, which I can only figure is the result of Robbie Williams’ rather odd decision to release a video of himself singing the song to his wife in labour.  (The general consensus is that he doesn’t come out of it very well, but hey, Idina Menzel sold a few more records.)

29.  OneRepublic – “I Lived”


Nov 3

X-Force vol 2 – “Hide/Fear”

Posted on Monday, November 3, 2014 by Paul in x-axis

The current incarnation of X-Force is evidently not a book written with the collections foremost in mind.  Presumably it’s a need for convenient break points that brings us a volume comprising four issues, rounded out by a reprint of X-Men Legacy #300 – which, yes, is by the same writer, and does introduce a character who appears here, and hasn’t been reprinted before, but still…

If the opening six issues of the series were about introducing Si Spurrier’s take on the individual team members, these three stories (#8-9 is a two-parter) move the focus onto the group.


Oct 29

Charts – 26 October 2014

Posted on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 by Paul in Music

With no fewer than four records appearing on the midweeks but vanishing by Sunday, this is an unusually volatile week.  It’s unlikely that many readers will be that bothered about Bondax’s “All I See”, Hudson Taylor’s “Chasing Rubies”, or Alex Clare’s “War Rages On”, but I suspect more of you would be disappointed if I skipped the other one, so let’s take a rare meander outside the top 40…

44.  The Independents – “UKIP Calypso”

This is a truly bizarre recording by any stretch of the imagination.  UKIP – the UK Independence Party – is a populist anti-EU, anti-immigration policy currently enjoying a surge in the polls.  The actual record consists of former Radio 1 DJ Mike Read, accompanying himself on the acoustic guitar, singing the party’s praises in what he optimistically conceives to be a calypso style.  This entails a somewhat half-hearted attempt at a generically Caribbean accent.


Oct 26

Hell in a Cell 2014

Posted on Sunday, October 26, 2014 by Paul in Wrestling

The WWE are due to announce subscriber figures for the WWE Network again at the end of this month, so you might have thought that this show would have some sort of priority for them.  By all appearances from the card, it doesn’t – to the extent they have a direction going for the main event, it seems to be looking past this show to the next one.

The latest tactic to try and boost Network subscriber numbers is to roll it out internationally.  Intriguingly, it has yet to be made available in the UK (leaving aside the obvious methods that can be used to avoid regional limitations – and a potential nightmare scenario for the company is that it turns out that a large chunk of the potential international audience are already using them, so that the potential for further growth is much less than thought).  The WWE only recently signed a renewed multi-year deal with Sky, so it would be surprising if they hadn’t allowed for the proposed Network launch in its terms.  Another possibility is that they’re trying to launch it in the UK as an actual broadcast channel, something which has worked unexpectedly well in Canada.


Oct 24

Amazing X-Men vol 2 – “World War Wendigo”

Posted on Friday, October 24, 2014 by Paul in x-axis

When last I reviewed Amazing X-Men, in May, it was to cover the first issue collected in this volume – a fill-in story in which the cast of Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends hunt a goat – and I wondered what on earth a book which had only just been launched with great fanfare was doing running such a throwaway thing.

But that story at least had a sense of gleeful nonsense going for it.  The five-part “World War Wendigo”, by contrast, is about as mediocre as multi-part X-Men stories get.


Oct 20

Charts – 20 October 2014

Posted on Monday, October 20, 2014 by Paul in Music

Let’s start with some on-balance good news.  Last week I pointed out that the downloads of X Factor live performances are registering in the iTunes chart this year, and wondered whether this might mean they were going to register for the official chart as well.  Which would obviously be a bit of a slog for us.

Well, evidently the decision is that they’re still opting out of the chart – which makes matters rather more amenable for these posts.  It also, of course, puts a bit of an asterisk next to the chart, since we know there’s at least one of these things that would have made the top 20.  But so be it.  It’s a kind of parallel musical world anyway…

35.  Charli XCX – “Break The Rules”