Like marshamallows in hot chocolate, underground movements will always rise to the top. The long spoon of record company manipulation decides what stays on the bottom of the cup and what gets fed into our mouth, making us fat in the process.
My metaphor is convoluted and confusing, as is the situation involving the latest 'underground sensation' Sandi Thom.
Nizlopi and Arctic Monkeys famously used the web to propel their songs to the top of the charts, displacing the Pussycat Dolls and Shayne Ward respectively. Now we have Sandi, a KT Tunstall-type singer songwriter -- no, wait, don't go to sleep yet -- who turned heads by broadcasting her live performances on the world wide internetweb. She received tens of thousands of hits, prompting RCA to wake up and offer her a deal.
As a result, Thom hit the number one spot on Sunday with I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker, ending Gnarls Barkley's sixty two run on the top spot. So hurrah for the internet, again. Yes?
I hope she has sensible shoes, because she is wading through a quagmire of record company manipulation and scandal. Step aside Diana, JFK and Roswell, this is one conspiracy theory that will run and run until it kills us all or falls off a cliff.
How did she really come from nowhere when she's been hogging a publishing deal for at least a year? Where did she get the money for the bandwith needed for tens of thousands of people streaming videos on her site? Did she really strike a deal with a PR firm in 2005? Is this one big mashmallowy publicity stunt from RCA?
Or do we just like to knock our singer songwriters because we are fearful of another James Blunt taking over the world?
Number one is not the place to be. In the last year, that position has brought us Gnarls Barkley, the Arctics and Gorillaz. But it has also forced upon us Crazy Frog, James Blunt, Westlife, Shayne Ward, Chico and that godawful Leo Sayer travesty.
That's the good thing about electronica. It will probably never rise to the top, instead choosing to wallow at the bottom of the cup where all the sweetest chocolate can be found.
Edit: A week later, Thom was thumbed off the number one podium by Nelly Furtado. Sandi Thom is an anagram of O Damn Shit. Nelly Furtado is an anagram of Tory Flan Duel, Daily Fortune, Nude Art Folly, Fell Out Randy, Loft Underlay, Nod Tearfully, Our Daft Nelly, Fat Dour Nelly, Unfold Reality, and Fully A Rodent. I think the truth speaks for itself, yes yes?