Sound Of The Overground
Volume's Duncan Greive scours charts from the world, the 'net and NZ in the hope of finding the perfect pop song.

Sound of the Overground: Who's down with Occupy Wall Street?


A column in which Duncan Greive scours the world's charts in the hope of finding, if not the perfect beat, then something worth whistling at least.

The World

The big news out of the US these past few weeks has been Occupy Wall Street, a 'movement' which morphed from basically being some crusties hanging out in a park, to this week's teargased protests in Oakland and the framing of it in some quarters as a liberal answer to the Tea Party.

Which makes it the kind of grassroots sitch celebs love to hang their hat on, so pop stars like Katy Perry and Kanye West have checked in.

Music-wise a bunch of people have played shows there, from the predictable (Michael Franti) to the less so (Occupy Wall St). But guess who hasn't been down? Anyone from the US Alternative Charts...

Okay, I get it - if 'alternative' ever meant anything, it's HILARIOUS now. Top three bands representing the principled 'alternative' to the pop charts are Bush (!), Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Of the three only Gavin Rossdale has spoken out in support (while promoting his new record on MTV, obviously), calling it "totally justified, an incredible uprising", while railing against "inequalities".

Then he went back to the celebrity tennis circuit. Actually.

Alternative music, eh? So edgy.

The locals

While I find the idea of categorising music as 'alternative' super-offensive (it basically means 'shitty white music', by the looks of things), now is not a time when you can hold up pop music and smugly judge people who still avoid it.

Because, basically, it sucks too. Check out The Edge's listener-voted top 10.

Topped by Adele (duh), it runs into two songs by Benny Benassi, which I'll allow based on it being unfair that David Guetta gets all that electro-pop-house money to himself.

But two songs by Calvin Harris is two too many, Bruno Mars is just annoying, and that Cher Lloyd song is a nightmare.

We are holding out for a hero and, at this point, they're more likely to come from the internet than anywhere else.

The 'net

I get that this is a weird choice. But I'm old. I went to where I'd have looked in '05, mostly out of desperation.

BBC 1Xtra's digital station is nearly a decade old, but its lack of a terrestrial frequency seems to have kept it fresh.

I've got time for every one of these songs, particularly Mike Delinquent's synth-lead r'n'b, replete with garage basslines, Preditah's JME-esque post-grime instrumental and TS7's keeping the funky flame alight.

Maybe the future's not so bleak, and the alternative's just found elsewhere nowadays.

Billboard alternative top 10 songs:

1. Bush - The Sound of Winter
2. Foo Fighters - Walk
3. Red Hot Chili Peppers - The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie
4. Foster the People - Pumped Up Kicks
5. Blink-182 - Up All Night
6. Young the Giant - Cough Syrup
7. Rise Against - Make It Stop (September's Children)
9. Foster the People - Helena Beat
10. Coldplay - Paradise

The Edge top 10:

1. Adele - Set Fire to the Rain
2. Benny Benassi - Cinema (Skrillex Remix)
3. Benny Benassi - Cinema
4. Bruno Mars - It Will Rain
5. Bulletproof ft Jessie G - Dub Me Crazy
6. Calvin Harris - Feel So Close
7. Calvin Harris ft Kelis - Bounce
8. Cher Lloyd - Swagger Jagger
9. Chris Brown ft Justin Bieber - Next To You
10. Cobra Starship - You Make Me Feel

BBC Radio 1Xtra garage top 5:

1. Mike Delinquent Project ft KCat & Donae'O - Out of Control
2. Sneakbo - The Wave
3. MJ Cole & Scrufizzer - Southern Electric
4. Predictah - Circles
5. TS7 - Getting Out of Hand

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