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From: Chalkhills <>
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #10-1

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 10, Number 1
		    Happy New Year!

                 Thursday, 1 January 2004


                    Merry ... whateva!
              Long Winters, Best Of '03, etc
                   Thanks for Christmas
            Doesn't get much better than this!
                         03 top 3
                   Making Plans For AL
                        Crap Towns
                 Ben's Favourites of 2003


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    Chalkhills is compiled with Digest 3.8a (John Relph <>).

Burn up the old / Ring in the new.


Date: Wed, 24 Dec 2003 02:42:28 +0000
From: "dunks58" <>
Subject: Merry ... whateva!
Message-ID: <>

Just a short note (E flat) to wish all Chalkers a very merry whatever
you believe in (or not, as the case may be) and a very happy, healthy
and successful New Year for 2004.

In partic-lee-ar, I want to extend a very special season's greeting,
and our undying thanks, to John Relph (who is, as they say, a prince
among men) and to his fab family.

Likewise, thank you for everything and total R.E.S.P.E.C.T. to tha
entire DC crew in tha house, including JD, Jeff, Todd, Harrison,
Scooby Don't, and everyone else there who made our stay so memorable
and so enjoyable.

Also, guys, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for the CD of the
Chalkfest -- it's a beautiful thang. Lucas' performance is priceless,
and we didn't even realise that had been taped - it's fabulous! As
Linda Richman would say "I'm all verklempt ... talk amongst yourselves
... "

Also, many cheers and thanks (and apologies) and all that stuff to the
inestimably nifty Michael Versaci and the sorely-missed Dom Lawson --
I promise we'll meet up on the next trip Dom -- I know where Burger
King is now haha!

Mike - I LOVE the P-Hux - thanks!

Oh yeah - BTW - I heard "Dear God" on Triple J this morning driving to
work ! Cool. At least one station here has the Xmas spirit hahaha

I hardly bought any CDs this year, but my hit pick for 2003 is Steely
Dan (what else?) - "Everything Must Go". I bought it and listened to
it once and thought ... hmmmm, it's OK I guess. By the third listen I
was irrevocably hooked. I'm not sure how it is that these guys can
keep turning out such brilliant stuff, and I didn't really anticipate
that they'd be able to top 2VN, but by Ozzy they did it.

Anyway I hope everyone has a great holiday season and a fantastic new

So long for now - last minute Xmas shopping beckons ... no rest for
the wicked, and no wickedness for the rest ...

Cheers and beers



Date: Wed, 24 Dec 2003 10:26:39 EST
Subject: Long Winters, Best Of '03, etc
Message-ID: <>

David mentioned:
"When I Pretend to Fall" -- The Long Winters

And I perked right up as I discovered them yesterday while surfing...since
Nada Surf & Death Cab both made my top 20 for '03 list, I went to the Barsuk
records website to sample some of their other artists. Not all of them were
of the high caliber of NS & DCFC, but I was VERY impressed with the Long
Winters and will be hitting my local indie record store to pick it up. Will
also snag the New Pornographers since it seems to be showing up here so
much...keep up those recommendations! btw, if you want to hear those
full-length Long Winters samples:

OK, onto my top discs of '03, which I thought was a particularly good year
for new releases & comebacks...these are not in any particular order, and
there were more than 20 that I really liked.

1. Rickie Lee Jones - The Evening Of My Best Day
2. Ani Difranco - Evolve
3. Death Cab For Cutie - Transatlanticism
4. Ben Folds - Both Ep's, and what happened to the third one? :~(
5. Ed Harcourt - From Every Sphere (great Brian-Wilsonesque pop)
6. Fountains Of Wayne - Welcome Interstate Managers
7. Nada Surf - Let Go
8. Living Colour - Collideascope (even copped a Dukes song for a title!)
9. MeShell Ndegeocello - Comfort Woman
10. Joe Henry - Tiny Voices
11. Radiohead - Hail To The Thief (they have put out so many great ones in a
row they almost go unnoticed)
12. Al Green - I Can't Stop (talk about comebacks, and being stuck in the
70's...anyway I can't resist this sound)
13. The White Stripes - Elephant (might be their last one for a bit if Mr.
White winds up in jail!)
14. Daniel Lanois - Shine
15. Ryan Adams - Rock & Roll, Love Is Hell Parts 1 & 2 (he seems to be facing
a lot of backlash these days but I thought this was all great stuff)
16. John Mayer - Heavier Things (sometimes popular things can be good)
17. Sun Kil Moon - Ghosts Of The Great Highway (for Red House Painters fans,
what a surprise and an excellent treat)
18. Kings Of Leon - Youth & Young Manhood
19. The Shins - Chutes Too Narrow
20. Lucinda Williams - World Without Tears

Like I say, I couldn't order these, I really enjoyed them all.

But 2003 wasn't all roses & sunshine...I was very disappointed by Steely Dan
(and they're one of my fave bands of all time), Bruce Cockburn, Elvis
Costello (Pee-Yew!) & The Swimming Pool Q's (though I did enjoy seeing them

Hope 2004 has as many jewels in store!


NP: Krystyna Olsiewicz - "Carey"


Date: Wed, 24 Dec 2003 23:28:49 -0500
From: "Bram and Bill" <>
Subject: octoroon
Message-ID: <>

You are correct Jim.  The term octoroon does come from the days of slavery
and it did mean that a person had 1/8 African blood, the rest being "white".
However, octoroons were not considered to be "black" but rather "white" and
entitled to all the privileges of white society, UNLESS your mother was a
slave.  Slavery was passed on through the mother, if your mother was a slave
then you were doomed to a life of perpetual servitude, unless you
successfully "stole" yourself from your master, or were manumitted, or
purchased your freedom.  Interestingly, there is a historian named Halliday
who pointed out that Thomas Jefferson's children with Sally Hemmings were
1/8 African.  He speculates that this may have been one of the reasons why
our third president, who was incurably "racist", would not have had any
qualms about fathering children with Hemmings.  In his mind, he wasn't
producing African children, they were "white".  Halliday goes further to
speculate that Jefferson may have thought he was doing Hemmings a favor by
fathering her children. However, because Hemmings was a slave, so too would
her children be.  Unless I am mistaken though, the only slaves Jefferson
freed at his death were the children of Hemmings.  I know this has very
little to do with XTC. However, I'd like to think that Andy may be
interested in this topic, what with one of the best songs on African slavery
ever written by him, Human Alchemy.


Date: Fri, 26 Dec 2003 09:24:20 -0800 (PST)
From: "Evansky" <>
Subject: Thanks for Christmas
Message-ID: <>

Happy Holidays, everyone! I have been lurking here for a while. I wanted
to post *something*, but what? Well, the holidays gave me the answer...

This past Sunday, while fueling up at my local Starbucks, what should come
on the overhead speakers got it..."Thanks for Christmas." Not
too remarkable. Heck, it didn't even occur to me to write in.

Then, this Tuesday - just two days later - I'm at the airport and what do
I hear being piped in? Yup, you got it..."Thanks for Christmas," again!

It just gave me the warm fuzzies all over. Hope it does the same for you.

Y'all be good now,



Date: Sun, 28 Dec 2003 13:35:16 +0000
From: "Paul Culnane" <>
Subject: Doesn't get much better than this!
Message-ID: <>

Y'know, Johnnie Relph has a lot to answer for (so, thanks right there John).

Thru the graces of Chalkhills, this thing has facilitated some wonderful
encounters, at least for this little black duck.  Met my best mate Dominic
'cos of Hills (still reelin'), and so many others...  But wait!!!

Tonight I had the supreme pleasure of dining and nattering with a pair of
splendid people, namely Andy Cuthbert and his beautiful spouse Yi
(pronounced "e" as in the lead singer from the Eels) - all the way from Long
Beach, Californ-I-yay.  Fuckin' hell, they were so nice, I couldn't have
cared less about our lovely sushi.  Really sexy and sweet, the both of them,
and what is it about you yanks with your magnificent teeth???  Suffice it to
say, I told them: "I want more!"  But on their adventure, they're setting
off tomorrow to do some snorkelling off the Barrier Reef.  Wish I could be a

Andy's got the dreamiest of grey-blue eyes, Yi's are a come-hither limpid
brown.  Mine are bloodshot, so I'm goin' to bed...

Oh yeah, spoke with Terry last night.  All is well, and he asked me to
extend best seasonal greetings to everybubble.

That's enuff, gudnite!


Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 16:36:22 +0000
From: Phil Hetherington <>
Subject: 03 top 3
Message-ID: <q8LgnuAGgF8$>

Un-lurking briefly; I'll do a proper list in a week or 6 but in the
meantime, some of my favourite CDs of 2003 were:

Belle & Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress
  This is a real return to form, it could even be their best ever album.
And it finishes with a guitar solo which reminds me - just a little bit
- of the end of 'Nonsuch', which can't be a bad thing. Oh and if anyone
can explain the bit about the toblerone I'd be grateful...

Cerys Matthews - Cockahoop
  Very short (about half an hour), but the quality just oozes through.
Knocks spots off anything Catatonia ever did. A bit folky? A few covers,
a few originals, but all excellent. This was very nearly top of my list,
and it may yet be on the final version (the B&S CD is a bit newer).

TV Smith - Not A Bad Day
  Another great album from ex-Adverts chap (though I think the previous
one 'Generation Y' shades it). See for more info
(including some audio clips apparently). When oh when oh when are
c**k*ng v*nyl (you know who) going to reissue 'March of the Giants' so I
can buy a copy?

Well, that's the top 3. The Cardigans 'Long Gone Before Daylight' is
probably No.4, after that I need to think about it some more.

ObXTC: Fuzzys 3&4 will be on the full list somewhere...
Phil Hetherington


Date: Mon, 29 Dec 2003 11:21:50 -0800 (PST)
From: Jon Rosenberger <>
Subject: Making Plans For AL
Message-ID: <>

Not to dissuade you away from the brilliance of Mandy or the genius of
Tricky but there was another XTC Cover that came out last year I
thought I'd mention. Al Kooper covers Making Plans for Nigel on his
career retrospective "Rare and Well Done" He of session Keyboardist
extrodinaire (Dylan - Blonde on Blonde, Like a Rolling Stone, Rolling
Stones - Let It Bleed, Who - Who Sell Out, Jimi Hendrix Experience
-Electric Ladyland) Lead singer for the blues project, founder of Blood
Sweat and Tears, played on the Bloomfield and Stills "Super Sessions",
producer of the Zombies, Lynard Skynard, Tubes and BB King. Yeah he's
got chops. All Music has this to say about the track:

Making Plans for Nigel
Composed By  Colin Moulding
Performed By  Kooper, Al
Length  4:07
Appears On  Rare + Well Done: The Greatest & Most Obscure Recordings

AMG REVIEW: According to his liner notes from Rare + Well Done, this
track is from a non-existent XTC tribute record. This is a whacked-out
cabaret-styled number about a young man about to enter adult British
society, that, according to Kooper, "I think you can actually Can Can
to it!'. Up-tempo and infectious, it shows off a level of musical
comedy and whimsy.  Matthew Greenwald

So my question is. Which XTC Tribute record was this done for?
Testimonial Dinner? Was there another tribute bandied about that I am
unaware of?

The tune itself reminds me of Nigel goes to the circus. Heavy use of a
calliope clearly. It's pretty cool. Check it out if you get a chance.

Cheers all



Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 12:42:03 -0000
From: "Nicholson, Gary" <>
Subject: Crap Towns
Message-ID: <>

In the excellent new publication 'Crap Towns', I am shocked to find
that Swindon is missing from the top 50. Not only that, but even the
website fails to feature it, despite references to
where I work (London) and live (Winchester - listed as 5th crappest
town in the UK). I feel I may have to visit Swindon this weekend to
compile a list of evidence against it - and while I'm about it, I may
as well nominate Andover en route.

Note to American chalkhillers/ians - you can also nominate American
crap towns on the site.

To 2004 and all who sail in her.

Gary Nicholson


Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 21:12:42 -0500
From: Benjamin Gott <>
Subject: Ben's Favourites of 2003
Message-ID: <>


Woah!  Look at this!  I'm doing this list thing!  Here are my favourite
albums of this year (with "this year" meaning "albums that I picked up
this year but that weren't necessarily released this year").

Fountains of Wayne: Welcome Interstate Managers
Michael Penn: MP4 (Isn't "High Time" a great song?  Holy SHIT, yes it is!)
The Postal Service: Give Up
Death Cab for Cutie: Transatlanticism
Teenage Fanclub: 4,766 Seconds (Thanks, Nick Hornby, for this
Billy Bragg: Must I Paint You a Picture?
Grant Lee Buffalo: Storm Hymnal (Gems from the Vaults)
John Mayer: Heavier Things (Jack Joseph Puig wins the "Producer of the
Year" award for this one...)
Midnight Oil: 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 (How weird is this album?)
Nada Surf: Let Go
Ween: Quebec
Guster: Keep it Together
Pernice Bros.: Yours Mine & Ours
The Polyphonic Spree: The Beginning Stages of...
Damien Rice: O
Pete Yorn: Day I Forgot
Matthew Sweet: Kimi Ga Suki (I bought this, on import, at Newbury
Comics for US$14.  Did I do good?)

The "Good Production Saves a Mediocre Song" Award goes to Jonny Lang's
"Red Light."
The "I Can't Believe He Actually Played a Rhodes on the Ellen Degeneres
Show, and the Song Isn't Half Bad Either, for a Dance Song by a Guy
Who's Trying to be Prince" Award goes to Justin Timberlake's "Senorita."

And (more seriously), the "Ben's Album of the Year" Award goes to The
Adventures of Jet, for their album "Muscle."  You can buy it at; while you're there, you should also buy "Part
3: Coping With Insignificance," their first album.  There's nothing
like their combination of XTC, Weezer, The Cars, and Fountains of
Wayne.  So do it!  Now!  Or I'll send dragons to your house and they'll
eat you.



End of Chalkhills Digest #10-1

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