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I wanna talk tonight about what’s happening on Billboard 200 chart. For me, Billboard is not a financial document. It's more of an indicator of what dominates among listenership. The reasoning is pretty simple here: it's not a band selling, it's listeners buying. My chart analysis may seem biased cos I focus more on a rock scene but that doesn't mean I have a bias for other music genres out there. Simply, I'm more interested in rock'n'roll.

Eminem’s Relapse kept its superiority intact on Billboard 200 this week. Two weeks on the market generated sales of about 820 copies - best performance among all other albums released this year. If Relapse went on selling with the pace like this, there is a solid probability it would stay Number One for three straight weeks.

I’m not a big hip hop lover, but Em’s – in fact quite expected – top position made me look closer at the guy. So I threw Relapse on my iPod and dove in. I emerged not being affected to the point where I was ready to convert myself into hip hop fan, but Eminem's story yet had some impact. To tell you the truth, I first winced in rejection but vindicated his flow later. Still, if I have my next urge for rap music, I'm more likely to put on Method Man or any other black artist. But I'm not intending to bash Eminem as white rapper, nor am I a rap racist.

Actually, Relapse made me think of a slew of other things. Let me ask you a simple question. Basically, we listen what we are. Right? So if so many people pocketed out their money for an album of such darkness and self-loathsomeness, are they stuck in as dark places of their own?

Although Eminem outsold my pick record and blocked its re-entry on top, California punks’ masterpiece is still the most relevant and inspiring record I've heard in years. 21st Century Breakdown sold more than 500 000 copies and no band on today's rock scene could stand comparison with it, both musically and emotionally. One of the greatest things about the record is this upbeatness and yearn for change without any violence or sick aggression involved.

Sad and rainy, Mr. Marilyn Manson debuted Number 4, selling not-so-good 50 000 copies. I don't think High End is going to climb any higher on the chart.

Unexpected or not, Grizzly Bear - indie rock band – hit its debut Number 8, receiving cheers from critics.

Among other newsworthy things on the chart is Bob Dylan's going even deeper down and finishing the 24th. The legend is shamefully threatened to be outsold by such undercreative band as Shinedown.

The biggest sensation this week was Phoenix with their Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, a pace setter jumping from Number 170 to fascinating 39! We’ll see if this French band could hang in there.

Next week we wait Iggy Pop to make a debut. My forecast is that Iggy’s Préliminaires’s gonna land Number 4 or 5.


After lunch impressions

flamingo humans 
drowning themselves
in mud 
nice-assed babes
unwanted now 
by my cock
old eyes staring
at the unbelievable fact 
of death 
and a bum cat happy
about himself 


Marilyn Manson's new album

What could one expect from a middle-aged super rock star to put on his seventh record? We already swallowed enough of sloppy crap like hey-guys we-are-still-desperate-motherfuckers-like-you. Basically, what's been on rock'n'roll menu lately was either rosy-cheeked or badly cooked. 

Barely can I say anything like this about Marilyn Manson's spicy industrial cuisine. No one says his 'The High End of Low' will make a huge difference in modern rock scene but why demand another atomic bomb from the guy who dropped it in mid-90-s, uh? But for Manson's artistic career this record is big – if not the biggest – considering his breakthrough Antichrist Superstar was around like a century ago.

What you get from the first notes is that new stuff is a dissent from 2007’s Eat Me, Drink Me with Manson’s band taking on earlier ear-drum rendering squalls of distortion and brutally roaring bass foundation. Manson himself – as probably never before – screams, pleads, croaks and moans like a crucified monster going freakin' hysterical in choruses. If you want it loud check that scorching sarcasm We are from America and Manson's spitting rendition of Armageddon in throbbing industrial Arma-goddamn-motherfuckin-geddon. 

But what gives the record its special zest is this audible personal touch so artistically imprinted in a variety of epic ballads. You can hear this personal thing right off the opening cut Devour. Running to the Edge of the World, Unlikeable Monster and, of course, Into the Fire with Twiggy's solo of incredible craftsmanship are must to hear. Another highlight from the record I Like to Kill You Like They Do In the Movies comes as a mesmerizing 9 minute infernal shock trance with Manson outperforming himself as a genius vocal artist. 

You give it a second listen and see how sound designs change all through the record and how everything on it is to the point. So thanks Marilyn. It was nice to know old cooks still keep their knives sharp. 

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