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Inside the Chart

Guest columnist Derek McEwan brings us up to date on this month's chart action

By Derek McEwan


Hi there. Guest columnist here. I volunteered to fill in for the lovely and talented Bryndis Ogmundson knowing very little as to what I was supposed to write about – I think, given the title, that’s I’m supposed to make observations – some wry, some not so much "The Outsider" is terrible: uninspired, dull - all the things DJ Shadow supposedly isn't. – about the monthly charts, which you may or may not have looked at. Also, sometimes Bryndis gives stuff away in this space, which sets me up to take a fall, because after last month’s Decemberist’s contest I’ve got nothing to giveaway other than my attempts at observational humour.

Speaking of The Decemberists, did you know they are number two this month? I have a bet (a nice brunch in NYC) with a friend of mine at Merge Records. She thinks that they will "move over 300,000 units of product" (that major label speak for “sell a lot of CDs”). I disagreed, frightened at the notion of 300,000 hyper-literate hipsters walking around in porkpie hats on their way to accordian lessons (having ditched those banjo lessons now that Sufjan is SO last year). Oh also, did you see this piece in the Village Voice? It caused quite a ruckus among interbloggers. I wonder if Beck is looking over his shoulder at the Decemberists, wondering if his “make your own cover” concept is enough to head off the Army of the OC? You know, with Beck being number one and all, he’s probably thought about it.

One band that probably isn’t looking over it’s shoulder is Mastodon, who tops the Loud chart this month, mainly because Mastodons are fuckin’ scary dude.

As usual (and almost bang on required Canadian Content ratios) 31 of the top 50 are Canadian bands! And while I would take Fucked Up (#39) over the Dears (#5) or Emily Haines (#6) anyday, apparently campus DJs across the country love those two bands! Hopefully all thos DJs aren’t as sad and midtempo as those two records. Conversation with them would be really plodding if they were.

Also as usual, the diversity represented in the top 50 is amazing! The Be Good Tanyas (#29) only a few steps away from K-Os(#21) on one side and Shout Out Out Out Out (#33) on the other? Wow. Oh hey – SO4 played the CMJ Music Marathon at the beginning of November and totally destroyed their audiences. Oh! And there was a Canadian Brunch at the Music Marathon as well, as annual event hosted by some of the bright lights of Canadian radio and print – Helen Spitzer, Michael Barclay, etc. I didn’t go because I couldn’t get out of some stuff, but I hear there were lots of Canadians there, and they ate a lot of breakfast food. I am disappointed I missed it because I LOVE breakfast food. Especially bacon, though not as much as this guy.

I think that Goatwhore (#3-Loud) is possibly the best named band I’ve seen in the charts this year. I mean seriously – Goatwhore. Just say it out loud once. Then try to figure out what it means. Amazing.

Does Mint Records own Radio 3? Ot is it vice versa? I’m just sayin’…

DJ Shadow rounds out the hip hop charts with his record "The Outsider"(#10). I find this amazing. Why? Because aside from Jurassic 5’s latest offering and the new Jay-Z, I don’t think there’s been a bigger disappointment this year. Ok, ok. That might be understating it. "The Outsider" is terrible: uninspired, dull – all the things DJ Shadow supposedly isn’t. I mean, he must have hit top 10 on name recognition alone. Or maybe there was an error? No wait – it’s pity, isn’t it? Ok. I get it.

Well, I think that’s what I was supposed to do. Next month, Bryndis will be back and there will be a whole bunch of year end lists, probably filled with bands you've never heard of and which may be entirely fabricated. Hopefully you’ve felt vaguely satisfied with my attempt to fill in. I’ll leave you with this picture of a monkey dressed up in old-timey clothes holding a baseball bat:

Cheers,

Derek McEwen is the Music Director at CJSW 90.9 FM in Calgary.

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